$now $torm

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A winter storm has dropped up to 20 inches of snow in the Lake Tahoe area, giving skiers and snowboarders something to cheer about, and a much-needed boost to the Sierra snowpack.

Lake Tahoe ski resort operators say the region's first significant snowfall in more than a month would help set them up for the Presidents Day holiday weekend, traditionally one of the busiest periods of the season on the slopes.

Alpine Meadows resort just north of Lake Tahoe reported up to three feet of snow from a string of storms since late last week. The snowfall allowed the resort to open 100 percent of its terrain compared with 80 percent before the storms.

The Sierra snowpack has been dismal at best this season, and the
latest storm only slightly improved it. The snowpack water content stood at 42 percent of normal for the date in the Lake Tahoe Basin as of this morning.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)