Wet Weather Ahead; NWS Urges Caution Wed-Sat.

Staff Writer

The National Weather Service has issued some noted and cautions about an upcoming wet and rainy period beginning later today, May 3, and lasting into the weekend. The wet weather could make backcountry travel hazardous and roads and mountain passes snowy and also hazardous. Here's the latest from the NWS from their extreme weather expert, meteorologist Chris Smallcomb:

Scenario:
We're likely to see periods of showers and thunderstorms Wednesday ​afternoon ​through ​Saturday night, with Thursday into ​Saturday potentially bringing widespread heavy rainfall.​ There will be periods of drier conditions mixed in but we're unsure when those will be.
We're confident in this overall ​wet ​pattern but the exact locations receiving ​heavier ​precipitation remains unpredictable at this time. ​T​his will likely be an ​​"equal opportunity" rain maker -- no rain shadowing in play. So we could see ​1​" or ​perhaps much more in the W Nev valleys.
Snow levels will generally ​vary between ​8​000-9​5​00', so we'll see ​​heavy snows in the higher ​Sierra ​elevations​, mainly from Tahoe southward​.​ This could be a good snowpack addition above 8500' for the eastern Sierra.

Impact Potentials:
Depending on where​ and ​when the heavy showers persist, we could see ​​minor​-​moderate flooding of normally prone areas and urban poor drainage spots, along with rises on creeks​ and ​streams. We could see rises on the main rivers but right now it's not looking significant​ - could still impact outdoor activities and festivals with increased flows​.
Also we'll have to watch recent burn scars for ​flash ​flooding - most notably the area around the Washington Fire in Alpine Co.
The snowfall looks to impact travelers over the ​higher ​passes such as​ ​Carson, Mt Rose,​ Monitor​ with Thursday into Friday the most likely timeframe.
We do have a ​​risk of thunderstorms each day - with Wednesday​ and Thursday​ having potential for strong storms especially over the ​northern ​Sierra​ and far western Nevada​. These could produce localized flash flooding, frequent lightning, hail, and perhaps a funnel.
​Outside of thunderstorms - this is not a pattern favorable for widespread strong winds!​

​Almost Free Advice:
​Now's a good time a good time to check storm drains, flood channels, and gutters for debris to help minimize the risk for flooding issues should we get sustained heavy rains. You know those spots in your community that "always flood"! Good practice to clean out gutters this time of year anyways with fire season approaching.
With snow projected in the high elevations probably plan on some ​​travel​ and hiker​ issues especially since people may not be prepared for ​snow​ this late in the season.
Not out of the question we could issue some EAS flash flood or severe thunderstorm warnings starting Wednesday so make sure you have a method to get NWS alerts (e.g. weather radio, apps​, social media​ "NWS Reno").

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