Scientific Forecaster Discussion
Area forecast discussion
National Weather Service Elko Nevada
233 PM PST Fri Dec 2 2016
Synopsis...a weak disturbance skirts across northern Nevada late
tonight and Saturday, bringing clouds and some mountian flurries.
A stronger front arrives Sunday night and Monday, bringing light
snow into Elko County. Colder temperatures follow the cold front
for Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, but a warming trend begins
Short term...tonight through Monday.
Return flow from the closed low centered over Arizona is weakening
this afternoon. Cloud cover lingers over the mountains of eastern
White Pine County, but a clearing trend will get underway this
evening with high pressure over Nevada. The next short wave moves
across northeast Nevada late tonight and Saturday (in anticyclonic
flow) with a deck of mid level clouds. The moist layer is shallow
with a strong stability in the 700-600 mb layer, not conducive
for generating snow except for some light orographic flurries
across Elko County.
The flow aloft backs around to west-northwest flow Saturday night and
Sunday. Tightening gradient flow and approaching surface front
from the Pacific northwest provides mixing to erode away surface
based inversions. Afternoon valley temps jump into the 40s for
much of the region (30s for the nrn Elko County valleys). Cold
front punches into northern Nevada Sunday night that coincides
with a ribbon of deeper moisture. There was some discussion of
freezing rain, but this appears very unlikely given the thermal
gradient and prefrontal mixing that is expected as the front
reaches the Nevada border. Light snow will develop late Sunday
evening across the Elko County mountains with 2-4 inches possible,
with nrn valleys in the 0.5-2 inch range (lesser amounts
elsewhere). With the upper level support sliding toward the
central rockies, the southward push of cold air slows
considerably between the i80 and us50 corridors. Cooling on Monday
will be prominent across the northern valleys but less pronounced
over the central valleys. Scattered snow showers will persist
along the front that cuts across east central Nevada.
Long term...Monday night through Friday
Monday night through Thursday. Northwest flow will be present
across the Great Basin with a long wave trough to the east and a
ridge to the west. Monday night a jet Max will be digging into the
Silver state which will bring some moisture and snow showers.
Most of the showers will be in the northern potion of the state
but some moisture will make to the central portions as well. The
amount of snowfall from this system will be fairly low with
valleys seeing less than an inch of accumulation. On Tuesday the
trough will move eastward with a ridge building across western U.S
Seaboard. This will bring a dry and quiet period for the Silver
state that will last to Thursday. Temperatures will remain cold
with highs in the 20's and lows in the negative to positive single
digits and positive teens.
Thursday night through Friday. The northwest flow will flatten
out to become west northwest as the ridge moves eastward and a
trough clips the northern portions of the Great Basin. This will
bring some moisture across the Silver state again causing more
snow showers. There is disagreement amongst the models on the
exact timing and amount of moisture but the overall amount does
not appear to be a lot at this time. The amount of snow
accumulation is hard to determine...however the Humboldt and Elko
County might see an inch of snow in the valleys with less than an
inch for the rest of the County Warning Area. The temperatures will warm with the
weakening northwest flow with the highs in the 30's to low 40's
and lows in the 20's.
Aviation...VFR conditions at all terminals for the next 24 hours.
With the next system low cloud decks will move to all terminals at
this time the appear to be above VFR conditions. Gusty northerly winds
during the afternoon hours for ktph that will decrease during the
night with inversion setup.