October could be one of Nevada’s wettest
October 21, 2004
RENO – The storm that dumped up to 3 feet of snow on the Sierra and drenched Reno with more than an inch of rain could end up being one of the wettest October’s in Northern Nevada history.
Reno-Tahoe International Airport reported one-point-one inch of rain over the past two days. Not bad for a city that averages only eight inches of rain a year.
Some neighboring areas, including Stead just to the north, reported more than 1.5 inches of precipitation from the storm.
Brian Brong, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Reno, said the storm puts the Reno area within striking distance of the record 2.14 inches of rain that fell in Reno in October 1945.
“We’ll have to see when this storm ends where we are on the top 10 list. But we will definitely be on it,” he said.
“Typically, October is a dry month. But when we do get storms in October, they do produce a fair amount of precipitation.”
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The early snowfall was enough to prompt officials at three Sierra resorts to plan early openings. The Boreal Mountain Resort, Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort and Kirkwood Mountain Resort all opened on Thursday.
“The trees are caked white, like you would see in the middle of March,” Jody Churich said from Boreal near Donner Pass.
The resort will have one lift open and hopes to have more open by the weekend, conditions permitting.
Eddie Stanciu, a student at Sierra Nevada College in Incline Village, took advantage of Wednesdays snowfall to try out his snowboard atop Mount Rose Summit.
Stanciu, 19, hiked up a steep slope just west of the highway, turned around and rode back down, repeating the process as snow fell around him until his cold face was red. A New Jersey native, Stanciu said he’s never seen snowfall like this in October.
“This is more snow than we get the whole season,” Stanciu said. “I hope were going to get more.”
Eddie Reed, a Nevada state snowplow driver, kept at the around-the-clock task of clearing Mount Rose Highway, the highest in the Sierra that is kept open throughout the winter.
Reed, 25, was impressed with the early season storms intensity.
“Its a big storm for October,” he said. “I’ve lived here all my life, and I’ve never seen a storm like this.”