Winter Finally Arrives In Sierra Northern Nevada

Winter finally arrived in the Sierra and northern Nevada, bringing heavy snow to Lake Tahoe ski resorts and making a mess of the Friday morning commute for motorists in the Reno-Carson City area.

"If you're headed out, you're not going to make it in the time you normally do," said Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper Chuck Allen, who cautioned drivers to slow down and allow extra time on the slick roads.

No major accidents were reported, but Allen said officers stayed busy with numerous spin outs and fender-benders.

To the delight of skiers and snowboards, the storm dumped about 2 feet of snow in the higher elevations around Lake Tahoe, just in time for the upcoming holiday season. Until now, ski resorts have had to rely on manmade snow to cover the slopes.

"We are excited that the snow is falling," said Savannah Cowley, spokeswoman at Squaw Valley USA. "This is what we really needed to get the season going."

Chains or snow tires were required throughout the day on all mountain passes, including Interstate 80 over Donner Summit, U.S. 50 over Echo Summit, Highway 88, the Mount Rose Highway southwest of Reno.

By midday, most of the snow on roads in the Reno-Carson City area had melted, but the wet pavement was a concern during the evening commute.

"When the temperatures drops, it'll turn to ice," Allen said.

Snow totals around Reno varied from an inch to about 5 inches in some of the outlying foothill areas.

A winter storm for the Lake Tahoe region was lifted by midday, as was a heavy snow warning for the valleys of western Nevada.

But forecasters said more snow was expected Friday night and Saturday.

Slick and slushy roads on Friday led to a delay start to schools in Washoe County and the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District.

Schools in Incline Village were closed.

As the storm system moved east, snow advisories and heavy snow warnings were posted for central and eastern Nevada.

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