- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 15, 2014

RENO, Nev. (AP) - Record-breaking heat gave way to thunderstorms in the Sierra on Tuesday, dumping heavy rain along the California-Nevada line and triggering flash-flood warnings and a mudslide that closed part of a highway south of Hawthorne.

The National Weather Service issued a flash-flood warning until 6:30 p.m. Tuesday for Mineral County in western Nevada after more than an inch of rain fell in less than an hour.

There were no reports of injuries, but the service said a weather spotter reported one vehicle was stuck in the mud on Nevada Highway 359 about 6.5 miles south of Hawthorne near Lucky Boy Pass Road about 120 miles southeast of Reno.

Nevada Department of Transportation spokeswoman Meg Ragonese told the Reno Gazette Journal that crews were on the scene, but there was no estimate on when they would reopen the highway connecting Hawthorne to California Highway 167 just north of Mono Lake.

The weather service said in a statement just before 5 p.m. that the flash-flood warning covered a stretch of U.S. Highway 95 between Hawthorne and Luning where motorists “should be alert for ponding water on the roadway.”

“This storm is producing torrential rainfall of 1 inch or more in 30 minutes,” the service said.

A flash-flood warning was issued earlier Tuesday just across the state line in central Mono County east of Yosemite National Park. That warning expired about 3 p.m., and there were no immediate reports of damage.

A flash-flood watch goes into effect Wednesday morning for areas in and around Lake Tahoe, Reno, Carson City, Sparks, Gardnerville, Virginia City as well as the California towns of Bridgeport and Mammoth Lakes.

“Abundant moisture and light winds aloft will lead to slow-moving thunderstorms with heavy rain,” the weather service said.

“The areas at greatest risk for flash flooding are near small creeks and streams, urban areas and recent burn scars, such as the Bison Fire in Douglas County,” the service said. “Heavy rain may also lead to rock and mud slides near steep terrain (which) may impact travel over mountain passes.”

The Bison fire burned roughly 43 square miles and forced the evacuation of more than 75 homes in Douglas and Lyon counties in the Pine Nut Mountains last July. The burned areas are especially susceptible to erosion.

High temperatures were forecast in the upper 90s Tuesday through Thursday around Reno, where 42-year-old records fell with highs of 103 on Sunday and 105 on Monday.

Several other cities also set records on consecutive days, capped by highs on Monday of 108 in Lovelock, 107 in Yerington, 106 in Fallon and 103 in Carson City

Even California mountain towns above 6,000-feet elevation around Lake Tahoe saw unusually hot weather, with records set Monday at Truckee (98) and South Lake Tahoe (92).

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