Winds Whip Northern Nevada, Snow I n Sierra

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Strong winds whipped across northern Nevada on Monday, causing dust storms in barren desert areas and downing trees in eastern portions of the state.

On the heels of the winds, a storm from the Pacific Northwest brought snow to the Lake Tahoe region and road restrictions on some mountain highways.

Western Nevada was under a wind advisory much of Monday, and the National Weather Service also issued a blowing dust advisory for the western portion of the Great Basin, including areas around Fernley, Fallon and Lovelock.

The Nevada Highway Patrol shut down U.S. 95-Alternate around Silver Springs early in the day because of blowing sand and dust that reduced visibility to near zero. In response, the Lyon County School District canceled classes for Silver Springs schools.

The patrol also shut down a 90-mile stretch of U.S. 95, from 10 miles south of Fallon to Luning, because of strong winds and poor visibility.

Both roads were reopened by 1 p.m.

South of Reno, a high wind advisory was posted for U.S. 395 through Washoe Valley.

In eastern Nevada, strong winds gusting to 70 mph torn the roof of an old building in Wells and caused minor power outages.

In Ely, winds toppled an 80-foot tree onto the White Pine County Courthouse.

There were no reports of injuries.

In the Reno area, gusting winds began to subside by afternoon.

Snow showers began falling in the Lake Tahoe region early Monday. By midmorning, chains were mandatory on Interstate 80 in California from Donner Summit to Cisco Grove, a distance of about 20 miles.

The travel restriction was lifted before noon.

Chains or snow tires also were required intermittently on the Mount Rose Highway southwest of Reno.

Forecasters said the cooler, unsettled weather would linger through Tuesday before daytime temperatures begin to rebound from the high 50s and low 60s into the 70s later in the week.