Sierra, Tahoe snow forecast in April storm; the wind could start forest fires

Don’t pack up that sweater yet.

Despite June-like temperatures Thursday and Friday with daytime highs 15 to 20 degrees above average, a cold spring storm arrives Monday with snowfall in the Sierra and high winds.

Temperatures on Thursday hit 79 degrees, just short of breaking the previous record high of 82 degrees.

But temperatures will drop 15 degrees on Saturday as a cold front sets in, and Reno will see a high of 53 degrees on Monday. According to National Weather Service meteorologist Mark Deutschendorf, there’s a chance of rain, pellets and snow showers in town throughout the day on valley bottoms, and an inch or two could end up sticking.

Severe frosts are expected Sunday through Tuesday evening in many places. The low is expected to drop to 25 degrees Tuesday evening in Reno.

In the Sierra, up to a foot of snow could fall on the ridge.

“It’s not the first time that it snows in April and it’s blocked. It’s just kind of a shock after days like this that it’s back to winter,” Deutschendorf said. “It’ll probably go down at a pretty good pace for a few hours.”

Strong winds are also forecast, with gusts reaching 50 mph in town and 100 mph over Sierra Crest. The combination of dry conditions and high winds could create critical fire conditions in some areas, the weather service warns.

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Amy Alonzo covers the outdoors, recreation and environment for Nevada and Lake Tahoe. Contact her at [email protected] Here’s how you can support ongoing coverage and local journalism.

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