First snow could make its way to basin by tonight |

First snow could make its way to basin by tonight

Jeff Munson

Although fall is not set to start until Sunday, the first snow of the season could come our way late tonight, a National Weather Service meteorologist said.

An unseasonable cold mass of air that originated over Northern Canada will make its way into the Sierra beginning today, dropping temperatures to below freezing tonight and possibly bringing up to 2 inches of snow between 6,500 and 7,000 feet through early Thursday morning, said meteorologist Rhett Milne.

There is a possibility that part of the storm system could produce intense bands bringing possibly up to 6 inches of snow above 7,000 feet, he added.

A high wind watch has been issued by the Reno-based weather service, with gusts at lower elevations to be around 45 mph with gusts up to 65 mph along mountain ridges.

While the system will move out of the region by Thursday morning, another one is expected to develop on Friday night into Saturday. The pattern is similar to the one coming in tonight, dropping temperatures to around the freezing level, with about 2 inches of snow possible between 6,500 to 7,000 feet.

Highs today will be in the upper 50s to low 60s, and then beginning this afternoon, the winds will pick up as the storm approaches, Milne said. Snow could begin falling around midnight. Highs Thursday and Friday will be in the mid to upper 50s, with lows dropping into the low Thursday on both nights.

After the storm blows out of the region on Saturday, the weather will warm a bit before another storm system could appear by midweek next week.

While cooler, unstable weather isn’t rare with the approach of the fall season, Milne said the storms aren’t necessarily an indicator of winter weather to come.

“As dry as it has been, this is a good sign,” Milne said. “But to say this is the start of the winter season is a bit premature.”

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