The rain came to Carson City a few hours ahead of schedule Friday afternoon but expect more of the same today, according to the National Weather Service.
A high wind warning has been issued for Reno, Carson City and Minden starting at 1 p.m. today and lasting through 4 a.m. Sunday. The NWS says winds will increase from the south, southwest from 30 to 45 mph with gusts up to 65 mph.
The winds could cause tree damage, downed trees and power lines.
Rain is expected with the storm turning to snow early Sunday morning.
The Associated Press reports the region is about to see a parade of powerful Pacific storms that should unleash bouts of heavy rain, mountain snow, and gusty winds at times through at least next week.
Bob Benjamin, a forecaster with the National Weather Service, says the agency has issued a wind advisory beginning at noon today with winds expected to be around 15 to 20 mph and gusts up to 50 mph.
Flash flood watches were to go into effect in the state’s far northwestern and central areas as well as the Sierra Nevada, where snow totals could range from 2 to 4 feet at elevations above 8,000 feet. Sierra snow levels will lower to near 4,000 feet by Sunday, forecasters said.
The Sierra snowpack, which normally stores about 30 percent of California’s water supply, was only 83 percent of the March 1 average when it was measured earlier this week. That’s much better than a year earlier, but after years of drought nearly all the state’s major reservoirs hold far less water than average by this time of year, the Department of Water Resources said.
On Friday afternoon, state maintenance crews in South Lake Tahoe were clearing a large amount of snow, 14 feet high in some areas, to reopen State Route 89 over Emerald Bay to motorists. This four-mile stretch of the scenic highway has as many as 15 active slide zones and has been closed several times during this El Niño winter when it became unsafe for the travelers.
The NWS says a seven-day total could approach 20 inches of rain in Northern California.
So “miracle March” could be in effect, but the Weather Channel said the storms could be too much of a good thing in some areas: The heavy rain could result in floods, mudslides and rockslides.
Those traveling should check www.nvroads.com before traveling for up to date road conditions.