Update: 8 inches of snow falls in Foothills

Two skiers make their way down Main Street in Genoa on Tuesday morning.

Two skiers make their way down Main Street in Genoa on Tuesday morning.
Photo by Kurt Hildebrand.

More than 8 inches of snow measured along the Carson Valley foothills from Tuesday’s storm.

A site just northeast of the intersection of Mottsville and Foothill Road reported 8.5 inches to the National Weather Service. Another site a mile north of Genoa reported 8.25 inches.

With the significant winds on Tuesday, it’s likely more snow fell, and it drifted to more than a foot in places.

Douglas County school students got a third snow day in a row, as concerns about slick roads weighed in officials’ decision.

“While we had hoped that we could open … schools today, road conditions in several areas across Douglas County do not currently allow bus access,” Superintendent Keith Lewis said.

A semi blocking all four lanes of Highway 395 at Palomino Lane at 6:20 a.m. was also cited in the decision.

“Due to our inability to transport all of our students safely, we have made the final decision to close DCSD schools for Wednesday,” Lewis said.

According to snow totals released by the National Weather Service at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Heavenly Ski Base recorded two feet of snow, while Minden received 4 inches of snow.

Light snow fell most of the day Tuesday and into early Wednesday morning.

Blowing snow posed most of the hazard on Wednesday as winds picked up to finally push the storm east out of the Valley.

National Weather Service Reno Meteorologist Chris Smallcomb said the next storm arriving this weekend will also be cold bringing 2-4 inches of snow to the Valley, and more than a foot to Lake Tahoe.

Most of the effect of the weekend’s storm will be winds of 30-45 mph as the storm arrives on Saturday.

“It’s going to be powdery with low visibility,” he told members of the Local Emergency Planning Committee.

It’s rare that storms this late in the winter are this cold, he said.

A slightly warmer storm could develop late next week bringing rain to lower elevations, with snow levels estimated at 7,500 feet.

“We could get rain in the Valley and heavy wet snow that’s a lot denser at the Lake,” he said.

Heavier snow falling on the light powder could increase the chance of avalanches in the Sierra.

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For the second time in five days, Douglas County closed its administrative offices due to weather.

Douglas almost never closes for weather, and remained open on Monday, while state offices and the schools shut down for the day due to a winter storm warning.

There were times on Monday when the question of whether to close or stay open came into question, particularly around 3 p.m. when the full brunt of the storm arrived in Minden bringing wind and light blowing snow reducing visibility to less than a quarter mile at times.

Tuesday was another day that featured a break from the weather in the morning, but most folks weren’t taking any chances.

Douglas County School Superintendent Keith Lewis announced Monday night that the schools would be closed Tuesday due to weather and road conditions.

Gov. Joe Lombardo ordered nonessential state offices closed before 5 a.m. on Tuesday.

Douglas announced it was closing around 7:15 a.m. Tuesday

“Due to travel impacts from regional winter storms, Douglas County Manager Patrick Cates has declared that all nonessential County offices are closed,” the county said. “Stay safe out there.”

Interstate 80, Highway 88 and Highway 395 were all closed in California.

Firefighters responded to a report that Western Nevada College’s Bently Campus was being flooded from a ditch outside the building at 11:10 a.m.


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