Forecast: Storm may bring half a foot of snow to Valley

"It's watermaster week," Carson River West Fork Watermaster Julian Larrouy said Tuesday, "because so much moisture is in the forecast."

A winter storm watch takes effect this afternoon as high winds and the chance for heavy snow combine for near-blizzard conditions.

"This is the more powerful storm," said National Weather Service Meteorologist Technician Jessica Kielhorn. "We're looking at 6 inches of snow during the afternoon and evening. There will be heavy snow and gusty winds that could create some dangerous travel conditions."

Winds of 15-30 mph with gusts of up to 40 mph are expected to start about 10 a.m. and peak at 7 p.m. Most of the snowfall will occur between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m., according to the forecast.

On Monday afternoon, Valley residents received a preview of the coming storm when 4 inches of heavy wet snow fell in the Foothills during three hours.

A National Weather Service spotter reported most of the snow fell between 12:30 and 3:30 p.m. Monday.

Another inch of snow fell over night, leaving 1.07 inches of moisture, according to R-C weather watcher George Uebele.

Minden weather watcher Stan Kapler reported 3.5 inches of snow that contained .75 inches of moisture.

Tahoe-Douglas firefighters reported 9 inches of snow fell at Daggett Pass at the top of Kingsbury Grade, that snow boiled down to .6 inches of moisture.

Larrouy said the snow telemetry at Ebbetts Pass, near the top of the Carson River drainage went from 88 percent of average to 99 percent of average for this time of year, thanks to Monday's snowfall. According to the Natural Resources Conservation Web site, Ebbetts Pass received 20 inches of snow, and increased its snow water equivalent to 17.3 inches.

A Weather Service spotter reported 8 inches of snow near Holbrook Junction.

Electrical outages hit the Valley early Tuesday.

The largest occurred at 3 a.m. when a circuit out of the Pinenut Station tripped cutting power to 3,000 NV Energy customers from the Gardnerville Ranchos along Highway 88 to Woodfords. A power company crew reset the circuit at 4:10 a.m., but couldn't locate the source of the trip.

Spokesman Karl Walquist speculated it could have been the result of winds slapping power lines together.

Power company crews were patrolling the lines on Tuesday looking for the source of the outage.

A downed power line cut electricity to customers in Coleville and Walker at 1 a.m. Their power was restored at about 5 a.m.

Monday's weather conditions are also being blamed for a 3:53 p.m. accident on Muller Lane about a mile from the intersection with Foothill Road.

According to the Nevada Highway Patrol, a 2002 Chevrolet Suburban driven by Gardnerville resident Gloria Burruel, 53, was eastbound on Muller Lane when she hit a patch of ice and left the roadway, hitting a power pole.

Burruel was taken to Carson Valley Medical Center by an East Fork ambulance with moderate injuries.

The pole was replaced, but Walquist didn't know how many customers were affected by the damage.

Kielhorn said the chance for snow in the Valley continues on Thursday when another 3 inches of snow is forecast to fall during the day. Most of the energy in that storm will pass further south to Mono County and Mammoth Lakes.

A warmer storm may arrive Sunday, bringing a chance of rain.


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