Clear Skies Give Way to New Storm Tonight; More Storms Through Memorial Weekend

Wendilyn Grasseschi
Times Reporter

With two storms down, the winter-like weather will continue for at least the rest of the week, including into the Memorial Day weekend.

Visitors should be prepared for more colder than normal temperatures, and in Mammoth, more rain and snow, according to weather forecasters. Forecasters have even begun to call the highly unusual spate of very cold weather and snowy storms 'Mayuary,' noting that ten-plus days of such weather, including more than two feet of snow on Mammoth Mountain already, is extremely unusual for May, let alone for late May. Temperatures as low as 22 degrees hit Mammoth late last week and more are on the way.

More specially, the clear blue skies of Monday, May 20, will give way to another storm arriving Monday night, according to the Reno office of the National Weather Service.

After that, there will be a steady series of small, but cold and wet, storms affecting the Eastern Sierra all the way through the holiday weekend – and perhaps into the end of the month.

“Today will be one of those "in-between days" between the continual onslaught of systems, according to the NWS meteorologist Shane Snyder. “Tonight and Tuesday, the next wave will push into the northern portions of California and Nevada,” he said. “This will usher in a reinforcement of WELL below normal temperatures and bring scattered to numerous showers. Snow levels will fall to near most valley floors by Tuesday morning; however, potential impacts to roads due to slick and snow-covered roads are expected to remain above about 5,500-6,000 feet in eastern California, and possibly into the Carson Range of far western Nevada, where precipitation is expected to be steadier late tonight into Tuesday morning.

“All road concerns should clear out by mid-morning Tuesday as the sun heats road surfaces,” he said.

Then, the wet, cool weather pattern continues through the last half of the work week as a persistent trough remains over the Western states, he said as a series of shortwave troughs will continue to reinforce the low pressure, keeping the cool and unstable conditions over the region through the Memorial Day Weekend and potentially through the rest of May.

“We are) definitely not excited about the prospect of wet weather for the holiday weekend!” said Alex Hoon, another meteorologist with the Reno office. “Anyone with outdoor plans for the Memorial Day Weekend should be prepared for the wet and cool weather, as well as potential for light mountain snow in the Eastern Sierra, mainly south of Tahoe into Alpine and Mono Counties. The only good news about the cooler and wet weather is that this will hold off fire season a bit.

Temperatures will remain below normal through the weekend with highs in the upper 60s for western Nevada and upper 50s in the Sierra Valleys, he said. “Low pressure moves out of the area on Thursday with diminishing chances of showers on Friday.”

But even that will not be the end.

By Saturday, another shortwave will drop into the region with low pressure remaining through Memorial Day, Hoon said.
“Instability and moisture will keep showers in the forecast each day, especially during the late afternoon and evening hours due to the instability from daytime heating. We could see an isolated thunderstorm as well.”