Brian Sandford: Inaugural Nevada winter is a little intimidating

I won’t lie. I’m a little scared of my first Nevada winter.

The climate was so mild in the Pacific Northwest, where I spent 10 years before moving here, that any of the four seasons could begin with a cloudy, 60-degree day. When I saw the low of 4 degrees forecast for Saturday, I worried we’d accidentally printed the temperature in Celsius.

The last time I was in 4-degree conditions was in 1994, in Ohio. I recall not wanting to get out of the car to pump gas because of the biting cold.

Similarly, driving in snow is a new challenge. In the Pacific Northwest, drivers endured a steady drizzle all winter. While the near-constant rain sometimes created visibility issues (and could get really depressing after a few months), it generally wasn’t too problematic to drive in.

I’ve been expressing concerns to friends and co-workers since summer about my first Nevada winter. They reassured me, saying I’d likely be fine in my front-wheel-drive sedan.

Well, so much for that. When I drove to the bottom of the hill near my house Tuesday, I initially couldn’t maneuver my car onto the highway. My wheels spun, and I worried I’d have to call a friend who has a more winter-friendly vehicle.

My car finally moved forward, and I white-knuckled my way around Carson City for the next hour or so. I did drive in the snow a few times in the Northwest, but I needed some practice to reacquaint myself with even the basics of snow driving.

I wasn’t the only one. As we told you Thursday, 56 injury accidents were reported after Tuesday’s storm. Fortunately, there were no fatalities.

I’ve used this space many times to tell you about the fun of adjusting to life as a resident of this state. I won’t hesitate to tell you about the challenges, too. Nevadans are a hardy bunch, and hopefully, I’ll have toughened up by spring.

Editor Brian Sandford can be reached at


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