Winter storm watch on tap for Sunday night |

Winter storm watch on tap for Sunday night

Clouds cling to Jobs Peak on New Year's Eve afternoon.
Kurt Hildebrand

The first winter storm of 2021 could bring a foot or more of snow to the Sierra above 7,000 feet Sunday through Monday.

A winter storm watch has been issued by the National Weather Service in Reno for the Sierra from Mammoth Lakes north to Redding.

The watch is in effect from 10 p.m. Sunday until 10 p.m. Monday and includes Stateline and the Lake Tahoe Basin.

An active storm track is anticipated to bring precipitation to Western Nevada, including Carson Valley.

Rain or snow is possible in the valleys as the storm brings high winds.

According to the forecast, the snow level is expected to start at 5,600 feet and rise to 6,900 feet on Sunday afternoon. 

Rain and then snow mixed with rain is expected to arrive in the Valley early Monday morning, then turn to rain after 7 a.m. in time for the commute. 

Another storm forecast for Wednesday is likely to bring more snow to the Sierra, but the prediction is for lower moisture amounts.

As of midnight New Year’s Day, the Carson River Basin was at 83 percent the water it has locked up in the snow pack. The basin has received slightly more than half of its annual precipitation, but cooler temperatures have preserved the snow pack for now.