April fool storm takes Valley by surprise | RecordCourier.com
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April fool storm takes Valley by surprise

by Sheila Gardner

Don’t put those snow shovels away just yet.

The National Weather Service says two more systems are expected through Saturday which could mean another load of snow for Carson Valley.

“We’ve got a couple more systems yet to come before getting out of this storm track,” said forecaster Larry Osterman at the National Weather Service in Reno.

For residents weary of winter, the news was discouraging.

“It’s not common every year to see cold, low pressure systems in the spring,” Osterman said Tuesday. “But if you get a vigorous system, it can put down some reasonably good snowfall.”

Northern Nevada residents awoke Tuesday to up to 10 inches of wet, heavy snow in the valleys and up to 2 feet in the Sierra, according to the weather service.

“Isn’t this ridiculous?” asked a frustrated Frank Riva, who reports the weather for The Record-Courier from the Topaz Lake and Topaz Ranch Estates area. “We got about 6 inches. Where is our spring? I see some blue sky above, however. Come on, spring.”

Douglas County Sheriff’s Sgt. Lance Modispacher said 17 accidents were reported from 12:01 a.m. Monday through 8 a.m. Tuesday. In dry weather, Modispacher said about three traffic accidents would be reported. There were no injuries, and Modispacher said in most cases, motorists were driving too fast for the snow conditions.

n Slow down. “People are not slowing down,” he said. “Drivers have to plan ahead and leave earlier. Just because the speed limit is 25 mph, it doesn’t mean you can drive that fast. You can’t just be whipping up to the stop sign and hitting the brakes, or you’re going to end up in the middle of a traffic accident investigation.

“We’re staying on our toes,” he said. “People are just not paying attention.”

Osterman said the weather systems were coming from the Gulf of Alaska.

“We’re seeing increasing snowfall over the northern Sierra late Wednesday with another chance of snow for Thursday morning. It’s too early to tell how many inches. It looks like another system will be dropping out of the Gulf of Alaska Saturday, bringing some fairly cold temperatures with it,” Osterman said.

George Uebele, who lives in Sheridan Acres along the foothills on the western side of Carson Valley, recorded 2 inches of snow at 11 p.m. Monday and a total of 10 inches by 7 a.m. Tuesday.

“We got about an inch an hour,” said Dorothy Uebele. “Our son lives up in Port Orchard, Wash., where they had 92 consecutive days of rain, and it’s sunny up there today.”

In nearby Genoa, Michael Miluck said the residents were “up to our eyeballs in snow.”

“We got about 6 inches, and it looks like there is more coming. It’s 4-wheel drive all the way,” Miluck said.

Julian Larrouy, deputy watermaster of the Carson River and Centerville weather watcher for the R-C, had a mixed reaction to Tuesday’s snowfall.

“I guess it’s all in how you look at it,” Larrouy said. “It’s good for the Valley, but it isn’t too conducive for the apple blossoms.”

The folks at the Bureau of Land Management kept their sense of humor about the wintry blast.

Public information officer Bob Stewart, calling the R-C to cancel Tuesday’s official spring opening of the trail along the Carson River at the Silver Saddle Ranch in Carson City, said he’d measured 5-1/2 inches of snow Tuesday morning.

“We’re busy selling Christmas tree permits,” he joked.

n No sympathy. Weather whiners got no sympathy from Nevada climatologist John James.

“You have some significantly wet springs in Minden,” he said.

May 1995 was the wettest in Minden since record keeping began in 1906. Similar records were broken that year in Yerington and Gabbs, James said.

“In 1977, the wettest month of the year was May. And in the early 1970s, I was living up at Incline Village and on the first day of summer, we got 3 inches of snow. It broke branches off the trees and everything.”

James said the early spring snowfall was a bonus for Carson Valley.

“Actually, we’ve had a lot of snow in the mountains this year, but not much in the valleys. This is good, because it gets the valleys wet also,” he said.

“Let’s put it this way,” he added. “It’s a good day, weather or not.”