Sierra Dusted With Latest Storm

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For a third straight weekend, an early-season storm left snow in the Lake Tahoe area.

But unlike the previous two weekends, the latest storm brought lesser amounts of snow, said National Weather Service forecaster Larry Osterman in Reno. The snow level was about 5,500 feet.

Chains or snow tires were required Saturday evening on two major trans-Sierra highways: U.S. 50 over Echo Summit and Highway 88 over Carson Pass.

Similar controls were in effect on Nevada Route 431 over the Mount Rose Summit near Tahoe's north shore.

No major accidents were reported.

The Alpine Meadows ski area north of Tahoe reported up to 8 inches of snow from the storm that hit Friday night and continued Saturday.

The string of November storms allowed Alpine Meadows and neighboring Squaw Valley USA to become the latest resorts to open for the season.

Alpine opened Friday and Squaw Saturday with limited operations. Both plan to swing into higher gear later this month.

The November snow is good news for the region's water outlook after three straight dry winters.

Saturday's water content of the Tahoe Basin snowpack measured at 150 percent of average for the date.

The figure was even higher in the Carson River watershed to the south - 200 percent of average.