Expect snow early Saturday, warmer weather on Sunday
It will be cloudy and windy today ahead of a strong jet stream and slow-moving cold front dropping south from Oregon.
South winds of 20 to 40 mph with gusts over 50 mph can be expected by this afternoon. Wind gusts over 90 mph are likely along the Sierra crest this afternoon and evening as the jet stream dips south over the area. A plume of subtropical moisture will bring periods of light rain today with snow levels above 8,500 feet. Mild temperatures are expected with this air mass, with highs reaching into the mid and upper 50s this afternoon.
Rain is forecast to increase later this afternoon and evening as the cold front pushes slowly south across Northern California. Cooler temperatures tonight will lower the snow levels down to 7,000 feet by midnight and down into the basin by early Saturday morning.
Forecast models indicate around 0.25 to 0.50 inch of precipitation at lake level and 0.50 to 1.00 inch above 7,000 feet by Saturday morning, with most of this falling as rain Friday evening in the lower elevations. Motorists planning travel over the Sierra Friday evening into Saturday morning should monitor the latest road conditions before departing.
Snow showers are forecast to diminish by midday Saturday as the low-pressure system moves east across Nevada. Daytime temperatures on Saturday will remain in the 40s under partly cloudy skies. Sunday will be sunny and warmer with highs pushing into the upper 50s to lower 60s around the basin under a building high-pressure ridge.
– Tom Cylke is a retired meteorologist who has forecasted weather in the Reno and Lake Tahoe area with the National Weather Service since 1974. He can be reached at email@example.com.