Storm Brings Heavy Snow to Sierras

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Snow and rain again pelted northern Nevada and the Sierra on Wednesday as the latest in a series of Pacific storms hit the region before making its exit.

A winter storm warning expired around noon for the Lake Tahoe region, where the National Weather Service said up to 2 feet of snow was expected at the higher elevations.

Chains were mandatory early Wednesday on all Sierra highways, but by mid-afternoon Interstate 80 over Donner Summit was open with no controls. Chains or snow tires were still required on U.S. 50 over Echo Summit.

No major traffic accidents were reported.

Rain fell in the valleys of western Nevada. Forecasters said dropping temperatures could bring snow levels to the valley floors around Reno and Carson City by Wednesday night, though precipitation was diminishing.

Strong winds ahead of the storm buffeted the region Tuesday, causing scattered power outages and driving hazards but no major problems.

Gusts up to 93 mph were recorded along the Sierra crest, while areas around Reno reported gusts up to 70 mph.

The Nevada Highway Patrol shut down a stretch of U.S. 50 between Dayton and Stagecoach for several hours Tuesday because of blowing dust and debris.

The patrol blamed poor visibility for three accidents, but only minor injuries were reported.

Highway 95 between Schurz and Hawthorne was also closed to big trucks and high-profile vehicles for a time because of the strong winds.

Forecasters said the region should get a break from messy weather on Thursday before another storm system moves into the area for the weekend.