RENO, Nev. (AP) — A wet prewinter storm is expected to bring heavy rain, snow and wind to Lake Tahoe and northern Nevada this weekend, with possible flooding on wildfire-scarred mountain hillsides.
The National Weather Service said Friday an “atmospheric river” is expected to funnel moisture toward the region, lowering mountain snow levels to elevations of about 6,000 feet (1,829 meters) on Monday and making travel difficult over Carson Pass and Mt. Rose Summit.
Hazardous driving conditions could develop on Interstate 80 between Reno and Truckee, California, officials said.
An atmospheric river is a long, wide plume of upper-atmosphere moisture pushed ashore from the Pacific Ocean.
A flood watch was issued Saturday night through Monday for the central Sierra Nevada, including Reno and regions affected by the Dixie, Caldor, Numbers and Tamarack fires.
Debris and ash flows, rockslides and tree falls are possible, meteorologists said, especially on steep slopes.
Truckee and South Lake Tahoe are expected to receive up to 2 inches (5 centimeters) of rain while Reno could see 0.75 inch (2 centimeters). Creeks and streams could flood in foothill and urban areas.
Winds could gust to 100 mph (161 kph) on mountain ridges, with 3 feet (0.9 meters) of snow at higher elevations, the weather service said.