Given the blistering heat entering July, Sparks-area residents may have been surprised to see heavy thunderstorms and a flash-flood warning Tuesday evening. As Wednesday’s temperatures grew to the high 90s, heavy rain was expected and Sparks continued to be on flash flood watch until 9 p.m.
National Weather Service meteorologist David Myrick said the rain comes as no surprise due to the overhead pressure currently stationed above the region. He said it is “not uncommon” for brief rain storms to follow hot daytime temperatures.
“Typically in western Nevada we will get these large areas of high pressure that set up, and after a couple days, it is so warm that we see a pattern of thunderstorms,” Myrick said Wednesday afternoon. “We are expecting another round this afternoon and this evening locally with heavy rainfall, flash flooding and gusty winds that could be as high as 50 miles per hour in some of the lower elevations.”
Myrick said Thursday’s predicted thunderstorms will move much faster as the high ridge of pressure breaks down and begins to move. He said wind speeds will pick up causing the storms to leave the area swiftly.
“We could get some more severe-type storms with hail and gusty winds,” Myrick said of Thursday’s forecast. “By Friday the main overhead threat will shift to the east and places such as Mineral County could be seeing the storms.”
As the holiday weekend rolls on, Myrick said temperatures will return to their normal July averages, which have yet to be displayed. He said 88 degrees is a normal average high for this time of year.
Tuesday evening’s downpour brought in less than a half-inch of precipitation (0.21) though it caused plenty of large puddles in the Sparks industrial area. Records from the Reno-Tahoe International Airport show just 1.68 inches of precipitation this year.
Forecasts for Friday, Saturday and Sunday show clear afternoon skies with highs reaching from 94 to 97 degrees and overnight lows in the mid-60s. Of those three days, Friday is the only day with expected winds as the overhead pressure moves out, but gusts are only expected to reach 10 to 15 miles per hour in the afternoon and possibly 25 miles per hour in some areas.