- Average Precipitation & Snowfall
- Average Daily Temperatures
- Average Humidity & Wind Speeds
- Average Cloud Cover
At an elevation of 4,410 feet above mean sea level, Sparks is located on the western edge of the Great Basin, in a semi-arid valley just east of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. To the west, the Sierra rises to elevations of 9,000 to 11,000 feet. Lower mountains to the east reach 6,000 to 7,000 feet. The Truckee River, flowing from the Sierra eastward through the Reno-Sparks metropolitan area, drains into Pyramid Lake some 40 miles northeast of the city.
Daily temperatures on the whole are mild, but the difference between the high and low can exceeds 45 degrees. While a summer afternoon high may exceed 90 degrees, a light jacket or sweater is often needed after sunset. Nights with low temperatures over 60 degrees are rare. Afternoon temperatures in the winter are moderate.
With it's relatively high elevation and very low humidity, the Reno-Sparks metropolitan area has a short growing season. Based on 1951-1980 weather records from the Reno-Tahoe International Airport, the average first occurrence of 32 degrees Fahrenheit in the fall is September 16 and the average last occurrence in the spring is June 1.
More than half of the annual precipitation in Sparks falls from December to March. Although there is an average of about 25 inches of snow a year, a single storm usually drops no more than 2 or three inches. Snow seldom remains on the ground for more than three or four days at a time. Summer rain comes mainly as brief thunderstorms in the middle and late afternoon. While annual precipitation averages only 7.5 inches, a secure water supply is available from reservoirs in the Sierra Nevada, where winter snowfall is heavy.
Humidity is very low during the summer months, and moderately low during the winter. Fogs are rare, and are usually confined to the early morning hours of midwinter. Sunshine is abundant throughout the year, with an annual average of 300 days or 80% of possible sunshine.
Data from the National Weather Service