Ready or not! Carson City gets first taste of winter |

Ready or not! Carson City gets first taste of winter

Brad Horn/Nevada Appeal Kristen Sandifer, 14, of Carson City, kisses her snowman in the front yard of the Sandifers' home on Saturday. Six inches of snow blanketed Carson City on Saturday. Below, a tow truck hauls a newer model sports utility vehicle north on Carson Street on Saturday morning.

Carson City residents were hit with a full-blown dose of winter on Saturday as the National Weather Service reported from 5 to 8 inches of snow had fallen in some areas by midday as a cold front passed through.

Meteorologist Gina Beninato attributed the heavier-than-expected snow to all of the conditions being just ripe.

“A lot of the times we get a shadowing effect from the mountains and we won’t see as much precipitation,” she said. “But the cold front today had plenty of moisture with it.”

Enough to cause spinning wheels, multiple fender-benders and frustration for unprepared drivers, and the perfect chance for Carson High freshmen Kristen Sandifer and Shantell Davis to build a snowman.

As the snow fell, they stood back and admired their work.

“His name is Evian,” they said.

He was wearing his third attempt at a head and had a rectangular rock for a nose.

They had plans to build a wife for the snowman and maybe even a snow dog.

“We’re not going to have any snow left,” they laughed.

Kristen’s mother, Margo Sandifer, was surprised at the amount of flakes that had fallen.

“We heard there’d be a little snow,” she said. “But nothing like this.”

Some holiday shoppers braved the weather in order to take advantage of the shorter lines. Parking spaces at the Carson Mall were random and creative at best, but it didn’t keep Rick and Jenna Ridge of Santa Rosa, Calif., from buying a few items.

Still enjoying their Thanksgiving vacation, Rick had hoped to get some use out of his new toy, a black Hummer.

“It’s the only way I could ever get him to come shopping with me,” Jenna said.

Rick’s mouth contorted into a sly smile, apparently anxious to get back onto the snowy roads before they were cleared.

By around 2 p.m., the snow clouds began to break and the sun took over, while much of the snow on the roadways had turned into a heavy brown slush.

The miniature snowman sitting on the bench outside the Subway restaurant on North Carson Street began to drool red Jolly Rancher, looking more like a malingering employee out on an extended break.

Decked out in an official black Subway hat and apron, creator Cynthia Urista said she thought the little guy was helping to bring in extra business.

Urista called the bountiful snowfall “an awesome surprise” and hoped to see more of it.

As the afternoon pushed on, heaps of snow dropped from the lazy catapults of pine tree branches as the sun turned into a golden-white ball of light and sank below the mountain top horizons.

Though she didn’t expect any more major accumulations overnight, Beninato said, “the big change is going to be in the temperatures tonight.”

The weather service was predicting lows in the mid-teens and even single digits in some areas Saturday night, meaning the roads were icing-up and becoming even more treacherous for drivers.

Contact reporter Peter Thompson at or 881-1215.