With more than a foot of snow in many places across Carson Valley, what’s next depends on the weather over the next few weeks.
Another warm storm could see all that snow melt causing flooding while colder temperatures would keep most of the moisture locked up for longer and allow it to melt off more gradually.
“The abrupt transition from a warm atmospheric river system to a
cold Tonopah low-type storm on Saturday morning was something fierce,” said National Weather Service Reno Meteorologist Mark Deutschendorf. “While the winter travel headaches for New Year's Eve activities weren't pleasant, this early change to snow helped prevent a flood event (that record wet December 1955 was accompanied by major flooding across Western Nevada).”
A winter storm warning expired at 7 a.m.
Writing early Sunday morning, Deutschendorf is forecasting cold conditions for New Year’s Day as the clouds part and high temperatures reaching the 30 across most of Western Nevada with upper 20s in some Sierra valleys.
“The extra snow cover will lead to a cold winter night with lows generally in the single digits and teens, with typically cooler Sierra communities dipping below zero,” he said. “Some high clouds in advance of the next weather system will arrive mainly over eastern California by early (Monday) but it won't limit the cooling very much.”
The next big storm is expected to arrive around the evening commute Wednesday and last into early Friday.
Deutschendorf said there are indications of a possible split that could bring a more southerly flow.
“Normally a southerly flow would push snow levels up, but many lower elevations are likely to remain entrenched in a colder air mass from the recent snow cover, with current projections only lifting snow levels up to near 4,500-5,000 feet across Western Nevada.”