More snow pelts Tahoe Basin; white Christmas guaranteed
December 20, 2002
On the heels of a storm that dumped more than 3 feet of snow at Lake Tahoe, a cold and blustery front moved into the Sierra and Carson and Eagle valleys, with at least 3 inches of snow expected around Carson City and 10 inches expected to be added to the Sierra snowpack.
Snow began falling at the start of Thursday’s rush hour in Carson City.
A short time later, Carson City sheriff’s deputies began a search for a Brunswick Canyon resident who was reported missing after he took a ride on a snowmobile east of the city. Deputies waited for snowmobiles and other equipment to mount a search for the man, whose cell phone apparently wasn’t working. But Wade Pennegor of the Sheriff’s Department reported that the man walked out on his own at about 7:30 p.m.
Meanwhile, a high-snow warning was issued by the National Weather Service for Thursday evening, with the unsettled weather expected to taper off after midnight.
“There could be scattered snow showers (this) afternoon,” said Wendell Hohmann, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Reno. “It won’t be widespread. It’ll be cold with lows in the lower 20s for (today).”
Carson City residents can look forward to more snow this weekend, as well as a white Christmas.
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“It looks like a good chance of snow on Wednesday, but right now it’s too early to tell,” said NWS forecaster Al Cox.
Stopping short of blaming El Ni-o for the latest storm, Cox said it is moving through Nevada and California with a large cold front from the Arctic north that is pushing the jet stream down into the Sierra.
Lake Tahoe ski resort officials are rejoicing after receiving more than 5 feet of snow from the last storm.
“The last storm system was extremely strong, with a lot more moisture within that system,” Cox said. “This one won’t be as moist or as strong.”
Winds picked up Thursday afternoon, with gusts of up to 60 mph along the mountain ridges, which will taper off today.
Sierra Pacific Power Co. reported it was making progress Thursday, with 241 homes still without power. That’s down from the 1,150 homes that were powerless Wednesday, and more than 4,000 homes Monday and Tuesday.
“We’ve had another good day in progress, and we think we will have everyone back up with power (today),” Sierra Pacific spokeswoman Faye Andersen said. “But with this new system coming in, we are concerned about more outages.”
The good news is, an additional 20 crews have been brought in to the region to work on outages around the clock, Andersen said.
Caltrans and Nevada Department of Transportation plows continued hauling snow out of the basin, despite large berms remaining on the California side of Highway 50.
While the storms have brought plenty of snow for skiers in time for the holidays, there is a greater possibility of danger for avalanches.
“Skiers, snowboarders and snowmobilers should be aware of avalanche potential in backcountry areas and should carefully familiarize themselves with ski area regulations, closures and advisories,” said Rex Norman, spokesman for the U.S. Forest Service, Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit.
A Reno snowboarder was killed in an avalanche at Mount Rose ski resort Sunday afternoon.
For highway conditions, call (877) 687-6237
or go online at http://www.nvroads.com or, on the radio, in Carson City tune into to 1610 AM or in Reno or Lake Tahoe, tune in to 530 AM. Nation Weather Service on the net: http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/Reno/
IF YOU GO
For those who plan to venture into the backcountry this weekend, here are some tips for a safe outing:
— Don’t go alone.
— Be sure that at least two people know where you are going and when you are expected to return.
— Know the weather forecast.
— Be sure you are properly prepared and have the necessary skills and experience for winter adventures.
— If plans call for winter backcountry travel on national forest lands,
contact the U.S. Forest Service at (530) 573-2600 for information.
Key phone numbers and Web sites for weather-related information:
–Caltrans — (916) 445-7623
— Nevada Department of Transportation — (877) 687-6237 or
on the Web at http://www.nevadadot.com
— Sierra Pacific Power — (775) 834-4100
— Douglas County — http://www.co.douglas.nv.us/storm.htm
— National Weather Service — http://www.nws.noaa.gov