National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Critical Fire Weather Concerns in the Plains; Powerful Storm in the West; Heavy Lake-Effect Snow Downwind of the Great Lakes

Very warm, dry air combined with winds gusting as high as 30 mph will support critical fire weather concerns across the central Plains through this afternoon. In the west, blizzard conditions in the mountains and heavy coastal rain will prevail through the weekend. Hazardous travel is anticipated. Lake-effect snow will develop over the upper parts of Michigan and southeast Lake Ontario today. Read More >

History of the National Weather Service in Reno

Southern Pacific Railroad Depot. Photo from Nevada Historical Society.

1870 - On December 1st the Southern Pacific Railroad starts taking daily rainfall observations at the rail depot in Reno near Commercial Row and North Center Street.

University of Nevada Reno - Morrill Hall. Photo from Nevada Historical Society.

1888 - On January 1st the University of Nevada starts recording daily weather observations (maximum and minimum temperature and precipitation) for the Reno area.

1890 - The United States Weather Bureau is established and is placed in the U. S. Department of Agriculture.

1905 - On November 11th the U. S. Weather Bureau establishes an office in the Thoma-Biglow building at the northwest corner of First and Virginia Streets in downtown Reno. The university stops taking weather observations on November 10th when the Weather Bureau begins taking official daily weather observations for Reno.

I.O.O.F. Building Downtown Reno. Photo from Nevada Historical Society.

1910 - On March 1st the Weather Bureau transfers its office to the I.O.O.F. Building at the southeast corner of East Second and North Center Streets in downtown Reno.

Hubbard Field (Reno Airport). Photo from Nevada Historical Society.

1931 - In support of the growing aviation industry the Weather Bureau started taking weather observations at various airports across the United States. On January 8th of this year the Weather Bureau opens a station at Hubbard Field, the new airport that was built southeast of town. Twenty-four-hour duty, along with hourly weather observations and upper air observations, started at this time at the airport. Weather observations will continue to be recorded both here at the airport and at the downtown Weather Bureau office through August 31, 1942.

Postcard of the Reno Post Office. Photo from Nevada Historical Society.

1934 - On March 1st the Weather Bureau transfers its downtown office from the I.O.O.F. Building to the U. S. Post Office Building at the northeast corner of South Virginia and Mill Streets in Reno.

1942 - The Weather Bureau is transferred to the U. S. Department of Commerce.

United Air Lines Airport (Reno Airport). Photo from Nevada Historical Society.

1942 - On September 1st the downtown Weather Bureau office is closed and the Reno airport becomes the site for official weather observations for Reno.

1949 - On June 1st Hubbard Field is renamed United Air Lines Airport.

Reno Municipal Airport. Photo from Nevada Historical Society.

1953 - On December 1st the name of United Air Lines Airport is changed to Reno Municipal Airport. The National Weather Service maintained a forecast office at the airport throughout its subsequent name changes: Reno International Airport (1970) and Cannon International Airport (1979).

The Flood of 1955 at Reno Municipal Airport. Photo by Lew Gourley, Carson City, NV on Dec 26, 1955.

1955 - The largest flood recorded in Reno affected the city from December 18th to 25th. At the peak, the airport was flooded to a depth of 4 feet, stopping air traffic for several days. Weather Bureau observers had to wade through flood waters to take observations.

1970 - The U. S. Weather Bureau is renamed the National Weather Service (NWS) and becomes part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in the Department of Commerce.

NWS Reno Office. Photo by Cassie Leahy NWS Reno.


1994 - The National Weather Service Forecast Office at the Reno airport is officially closed when NWS forecast and warning operations are transferred to the new NWS Forecast Office in north Reno. Some NWS personnel remain at the airport to take weather observations.

1995 - On September 1st an automated weather observing system is commissioned at the Reno airport.