The heaviest rain is expected to hit Alpine and Mono counties today before diminishing this evening before more moisture brings snow to the Sierra tonight.
The forecast will likely determine whether Highway 395 through the Pine Nut Mountains reopens today.
"Based on continued weather, there is the potential that the U.S. 395 closure could last longer than previous weather-related closures of just a few hours," State Transportation Spokeswoman Meg Ragonese said at 4 p.m. "Crews will be working hard to keep the highway clear."
According to the forecast issued 2:40 p.m., there’s a possibility a band of moisture will extend into Western Nevada on Saturday morning with colder temperatures down to 4,500-5,000 feet.
“Light slushy accumulations could accumulate prior to daybreak for foothill areas near and above 5,000 feet, with this snow quickly melting by mid-late morning,” said National Weather Service Reno Meteorologist Mark Deutschendorf.
Most of the moisture feed will vary between the Tahoe area and Northeast California.
“For Western Nevada and Northeast California valleys from Saturday afternoon through Monday, most areas will likely be shadowed out, except for lighter bands of rain spilling over at times, mainly from Highway 50 northward,” Deutschendorf said.
Another, stronger storm is heading into Western Nevada starting Monday night through Tuesday.
“The snow levels remain in flux due to varied storm tracks, with the most likely scenario projecting a rise to 7,000-7,500 feet around Tahoe and 8,000 feet for Mono County ahead of Tuesday’s cold front passage,” Deutschendorf said.
Travel impacts will likely be limited to the passes, where there could be heavier snowfall.