Storm closes state offices |

Storm closes state offices

by Aurora Sain
and Kurt Hildebrand
Kathy and Bob Happle walk their Portuguese Water Dog 'Karma' in the snowstorm near Chichester Estates Thursday morning.
Brad Coman |

Gardnerville, Nev. — Gov. Brian Sandoval ordered state offices in Carson City closed at noon Thursday due to the storm.

A fast-moving winter storm brought snow to Carson Valley on Thursday in time for Christmas.

About an inch of cold, powdery snow fell in Gardnerville by 9:30 a.m.

Temperatures fell Thursday morning from around freezing at 5 a.m. to 28 degrees.

Chains or snow tires are required for vehicles on Highway 395 from Indian Hills south to Ruhenstroth, and south into the Pine Nuts. Chains or snow tires are required on Highway 88 south from Minden to the state line.

Kingsbury Grade and Highway 50 from the state line over Spooner Summit and into Carson City are also requiring chains or snow tires.

A few vehicle spinouts were occurring on Thursday, but traffic in Douglas County was for the most part proceeding smoothly.

Parts of Carson Valley could see 1-4 inches of snow, with 2-6 inches falling in the foothills.

“Snow amounts will vary considerable even over short distances,” according to the advisory. “There is potential for lake effect snow to impact Carson City and Carson Valley. If this happens 3-6 inches is likely there.”

Southwest winds of 15-30 mph, with gusts of up to 40 mph are expected to accompany the storm.

Forecasters are suggesting holiday travelers wait until later today or Christmas morning to travel through the Sierra, when road conditions will be better and less stressful.

“Even light snowfall causes major travel delays,” the advisory warned motorists. “Especially during periods of high traffic volume due to holiday travel. Be sure to allow extra time to reach your destination. Leave extra space between vehicles, since it takes longer to stop on slick roadways.”

Road controls are in place on I-80, highways 88 and 50 this morning. Vehicles over 9-feet tall are prohibited in Washoe Valley.