A series of wet winter storms is expected to drop lots of rain, and snow at high elevations, through the weekend in the Sierra Nevada.
"A fast moving storm system will bring a period of wet weather to the Sierra and far western Nevada Wednesday and Wednesday evening," according to a statement from the National Weather Service in Reno. "Wet weather with this system will be short lived with accumulating snow remaining near and above 6,500 feet."
A more significant set of storms is expected Thursday night and into the weekend. These storms will bring a prolonged period of heavy precipitation to the region, according to the weather service.
"These storms will have high snow levels (above 7,500 to 8,000 feet and possibly over 9,000 feet at times) ... therefore significant snowfall will likely be relegated to only the highest elevations of the Sierra," according to the statement. "Heavy rains will cause rises in river and streams but flooding is not expected. The main threat in western Nevada Thursday night and Friday appears to be strong winds followed by heavy rain on Sunday."
Wind advisories have been issued for the next several days. Ridge gusts could reach 110 mph. Two- to 4-foot waves are also expected on Lake Tahoe Wednesday, with higher waves expected Thursday night and Friday.
Travel could be affected over the highest mountain passes this weekend and the wet weather will cause a seasonal closure of dirt roads in the Eldorado National Forest Thursday. The dirt roads will remain closed until at least April 1, according to a statement from the U.S. Forest Service.
"This is an unusual move for me to set a date for the beginning of the seasonal closure when the roads are not yet soaked," Forest Supervisor Kathy Hardy said in the statement. "However, based on the special weather alert issued by the National Weather Service, it looks like the coming storm will produce a considerable amount of rainfall. I wanted to give visitors as much advanced notice as possible about the impending dirt road closures."