New Year Snow Snarls Northern Nevada Traffic

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Snow ushered in the new year from the Sierra to Utah with winds that produced a blizzard warning in central and eastern Nevada and condition that halted traffic on Interstate-80.

Westbound vehicles were being held at the California state line on I-80 because of snow and poor visibility. Elsewhere, chains were mandatory on both I-80 and U.S. 50 Thursday with chains or snow tires the norm elsewhere in the Sierra.

A winter storm warning was in effect for the mountains, where Alpine Meadows reported up to 14 inches early Thursday with heavy snow still falling.

Forecasters were calling for up to a foot of snow at lake level and two feet at higher elevations. Winds gusting up to 100 mph over the ridgetops were making driving risky at times.

An avalanche advisory remained in effect for the back country of the central Sierra outside developed ski areas from Yuba Pass south to Sonora Pass.

Forecasters called for at least a chance of snow through the weekend.

An inch or so of snow was likely Thursday in the valleys of western Nevada. Chains or snow tires were required on U.S. 395 north of Reno to the California line.

North central and northeastern Nevada also were under a winter storm warning for a combination of heavy snow and blowing snow. Winds to 60 mph triggered a blizzard warning in White Pine County as well as southern Lander and southern Eureka counties.

Chains or snow tires were required on I-80 from Palisade to Beowawe and Independence to Oasis as well as on side roads including Nevada 225 from Elko north to the Idaho state line and U.S. 93 both north and south of the interstate.

In southern Nevada, people around Las Vegas woke up to mostly cloudy skies and temperatures in the 50s tempered by gusty winds.