Storms should clear for New Year’s celebration |

Storms should clear for New Year’s celebration

by Teri Vance, Appeal Staff Writer

Mother Nature is expected to take a break from winter storms during New Year’s Eve celebrations tonight — but not before another storm pounded the Sierra Nevada.

Overnight winds and snowstorms in the mountains should ease by late this afternoon, ringing in the New Year with cold, dry weather.

“It’s not going to be real bad down here,” said meteorologist Mark Brown from the National Weather Service. “But we do have a winter storm warning posted for the Tahoe region. It should be fairly heavy overnight through mid-morning.”

Rain started falling in Carson City about 3 p.m. Monday. Up to 2 feet of snow was expected in the mountains by midday with winds reaching a possible 80 mph, which could create blizzard-like conditions.

However, Brown said travelers should be able to make it over the Sierra by late afternoon or early this evening.

The dry weather is expected to extend through New Year’s until probably late Thursday when another snowstorm is expected.

“Our next chance for snow will be Thursday night to Friday afternoon,” Brown said. “It doesn’t look like it will be a real big one, though.”

Today’s storm is the latest in a string of powerful El Ni-o-related systems that has dumped up to 14 feet of snow in the Sierra this month.

Water officials say the storms were greatly needed after three straight dry winters.

The Sierra snowpack provides most of the water for cities, farms and recreation in Northern Nevada and California.