Another Pacific storm system drove low pressure, moisture and cold temperatures across the Sierra Nevada and into the Great Basin on Tuesday, Dec. 22, blanketing the area with record breaking snowfall and temperatures well below freezing.
According to information from the National Climatic Data Center, the substantial snowfall began on Dec. 22 with 3.4 inches recorded at the Ely Yelland Airport station by the end of the day. The next day, 2.8 inches fell while on the night of Christmas Eve, 5.6 more inches fell.
By 1:30 a.m. Christmas day, that figure reached 5.7 inches of snow, a record daily maximum, breaking the previous record of 4.4 set in 2012.
The worst was over before sunrise with only trace amounts of snow.
Preliminary Nation Weather Service data indicated very low temperatures, but those numbers are subject to minor revision by the NCDC.
On Sunday, Dec. 27 the high temperature for the day reached only 17 degrees Fahrenheit, with a low of -18 degrees F. The record low in Ely for the month occurred on Dec. 22, 1990, when the temperature dipped to -29 degrees F. The record low stands at -30 degrees F, which occurred on Feb. 6, 1989.
Around 3 a.m. Monday, Dec. 28, NWS issued another Winter Weather Advisory for White Pine County and northeastern Nye County. The advisory started at 1 p.m. that day and predicted one to three inches of snow to fall through Tuesday morning, but was lifted later that afternoon.
By Dec. 30, NWS expected one to three inches of snow, with temperatures to reach as low as -10 F that evening. Early morning on New Year’s Day could get as cold as -17 F with a wind chill factor of -24. It’s possible that the National Weather Service will issue another Winter Weather Advisory for the county that will run through New Year’s night. The extended forecast predicts that the temperature highs should finally climb back near 40 degrees F by Tuesday, Jan. 5.