Cold storm to bring, wind, rain and mountain snows |

Cold storm to bring, wind, rain and mountain snows

Red sky at morn in this photo captured by Minden resident Brian Rittenhouse on Wednesday.

On Friday, California opened Ebbetts, Sonora and Tioga passes, but those may soon be closed again if a winter-like storm develops as predicted.

The wind will provide the opening salvo in the cold front, bringing 20-30 mph southwest winds, gusting to 50 mph.

A wind advisory is in effect 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday, with gusty winds expected to set unsecured objects and tree limbs dancing, prompting power outages.

National Weather Service forecasters are warning Western Nevadans to secure loose outdoor items, such as patio furniture and trashcans before the wind can make off with them.

“The best thing to do is prepare ahead of time by making sure you have extra food and water on hand, flashlights with spare batteries, or candles in the event of a power outage,” forecasters said.

On the other side of the front, widespread rains are expected with occasional snow for mountain passes overnight Sunday into Tuesday.

Temperatures are expected to drop by around 20 degrees as a winter storm watch takes hold in the Sierra from Sunday afternoon through Tuesday above 7,000 feet. There’s a possibility of snow accumulations of 6-12 inches with some spots getting up to 15 inches.

“Travel could be very difficult or nearly impossible,” forecasters said.

As if the hundreds of earthquakes weren’t enough in the deserts of Esmeralda and Nye counties, a red flag warning for critical fire danger across the area begins 11 a.m. Sunday and lasts through Monday night.

Expect partly sunny and warm conditions today in Carson Valley with the high temperature climbing to 78 degrees. The wind will increase out of the southwest at 10-15 mph in the afternoon, gusting to 30 mph.

A possibility of rain starts after lunchtime Sunday increasing on Sunday night and into Monday. The snow level is expected to drop to 5,700 feet overnight Monday and could affect Tuesday morning’s commute through the Sierra.