A day after a storm that saw winds of 160 mph along the Sierra Crest, the Sierra Nevada mountains between California and Nevada were expecting another storm that could bring up to five feet of snow in places.
More high winds were forecast by the National Weather Service for Wednesday ahead of the strong cold front blowing out of the Gulf of Alaska. The brunt of the winter storm was expected to hit the Sierra by Thursday.
By Thursday morning, 3 to 5 feet of snow or more was expected at elevations above 7,000 feet elevation, with up to a foot of snow in the valleys by Friday evening, the weather service said.
Snow accumulations of 2 to 5 inches were possible in Reno-Sparks by Wednesday morning.
Light snow on Tuesday was in stark contrast to a day earlier, when pelting rain — more than 5 inches in some areas — combined with high snow levels to cause streams, rivers and creeks to swell with rain water, runoff and melting snow.
The rain had emergency personnel on high alert amid fears of a repeat of a New Year's Eve flood that caused more than $17 million damage.