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Record-breaking weather slowing in October
by Garrett Valenzuela
Oct 02, 2012 | 3049 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune photo/Garrett Valenzuela -- A local resident soaks up the last bit of warm weather Tuesday at the Sparks Marina.
Tribune photo/Garrett Valenzuela -- A local resident soaks up the last bit of warm weather Tuesday at the Sparks Marina.
RENO -- The climate in the Truckee Meadows continues a record-setting trend. It has brought record-high temperatures in four consecutive months. With Tuesday’s high reaching 88 degrees, coming in shy of the record of 90 degrees, the constant heat has local meteorologists looking ahead to cooler temperatures.

Mark Faucette, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Reno, said the temperatures recorded at the Reno-Tahoe International Airport for the months of August and September were above normal average. August averaged 79 degrees for the month and September averaged 70.7 degrees, putting them 5.8 and 5.5 degrees above their historic averages, respectively.

“We have been stuck under a ridge of high pressure for quite some time,” Faucette said. “We have seen that ridge move away from us or break down causing the temperatures to cool off a little. For the month (of September) there were only three days that had highs, registering below average, and those were the days that the ridge would’ve broken down and we had increased cloud cover.”

Average high temperatures are based on recorded highs from 1981 and 2010, according to Faucette. Tuesday’s high of 88 degrees is 12 degrees above average for Oct. 2 which continues the pattern of temperatures being above average. However, Faucette said the estimated temperature for Saturday of 75 degrees will be on track with the average for October.

“We are looking at a change later in the week and into early next week. The high pressure sitting over us should get pushed to the south and a trough of low pressure will be coming in,” he said. “The cooler temperatures will be a lot more like average and they will feel noticeably cooler because lately we have been so far above average. It will probably feel cooler than it should be but it is actually right about average.”

Faucette said the Reno-Sparks area could see some precipitation early next week with the overhead pressure moving toward the California area. He said any moisture the area receives would not be significant, but the temperature would remain cooler.

As the cooler weather begins to come in ski resorts in northern Nevada and California begin their preparations for the first snowfall of the year. Steven Hemphill, community relations manager at Sierra-at-Tahoe Ski Resort, said the resort is excited about the changing seasons and is anxiously awaiting the arrival of the first snow which could come next week.

“On average, we are open by the first week of December. Early October and September weather has no bearing on winter, and there are weather forecasts looking at a low pressure coming in next week with the possibility of our first snow,” Hemphill said, adding that the resort traditionally operates between late November and mid-April.

Hemphill said having enough snow to start the season is a more complex issue than simply experiencing a couple of snowfalls. He said the temperature of and the time between each snowfall are just a couple of the factors that play into getting enough snowfall to begin the skiing season.

“On average, we receive 480 inches and Echo Summit receives some of the most snowfall in North America,” he said. “Because of our location on the Pacific Crest, snowfall from the Pacific first drops here and typically drops more than resorts east of Sierra.”

Hemphill said the resort will typically not rely on fake snow to cover its mountain, but will do a small amount of snowmaking to supplement the snowfall received.

Tyler Bessire, a Sun Valley resident, said he is looking forward to the colder weather coming in to break up what, to him, seems like an extended summer.

“I like the hot weather and it was definitely fun in July, but summer is supposed to come and go,” Bessire said. “I am definitely looking forward to the cold, turning off my air conditioning and avoiding the heat. When you’re hot, sometimes you can’t really do anything about it, but when you’re cold you can always climb under a blanket or something and warm up.”

Scorching Numbers

5 - Number of record highs tied or broken Between June and September.

10 - Number of times 90 degrees or higher was the daily high in September.

1 - Number of days the daily high was below 90 degrees in August.

11 - Number of times 100 degrees or higher was the daily high from June to August.

77 - Degrees measured for the high on Sept. 24; first high below 80 degrees since June 23.
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