The Weather Research and Forecasting Model (WRF) was employed to enhance the observational data of the NCFR event. A number of sensitivity studies were run to determine how to best capture the observed features. The WRF was only able to correctly diagnose the frontal wind shift late in the day when it was initialized approximately three hours before the arrival of the NCFR at Truckee. This result showed the model's lack of ability to capture the mesoscale dynamics of the event when initialized earlier, the difficulty of forecasting the event, and the model's sensitivity to initial conditions.
Both observations and WRF model results support the conclusion that ahead of the cold front a NCFR developed in conjunction with a subsynoptic low pressure center that brought intense precipitation to a very narrow region on the upslope of the Sierra Nevada. Additionally, the change from rain to snow was slowed by warm air advection due to a strong, narrow southerly low-level jet which transported a latent heating-fortified warm air surge from near Mammoth Lakes and Bishop, California, keeping the melting level high and preventing formation of snow. As the winds turned from out of the south to southwesterly effectively cutting off the source of warm air, both the NOAA profiler observations and the model show a change from rain to snow and the progression of the cold front into the Truckee and Reno areas.