Storm could make for sketchy commute
March 1, 2018
Forecasters are going all in predicting blizzard conditions in the mountains and snow hitting the Valley floors.
Strong winds Thursday are expected to bring in the storm that was predicted to bring snow that could snarl Friday morning's commute.
A blizzard warning was issued for strong winds and heavy snow at Lake Tahoe and in Mono County, with 2-5 feet predicted above 7,000 feet and blowing snow causing whiteouts.
"Snow accumulations are likely in Western Nevada with periods of low visibility possible," forecasters said on Thursday morning.
Snow was already accumulating on mountain roads around Lake Tahoe, visible on traffic cameras near Cave Rock and on Kingsbury Grade.
Light snow fell for a brief time in Genoa on Thursday morning.
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Minden-Tahoe Airport recorded a 43 mph wind gust at about 7:55 a.m. There was a 30 mph gust in the Ranchos at 6:14 a.m. Fish Springs had a 38 mph gust at 1:33 a.m. and Johnson Lane a 41 mph gust at 7:41 a.m. Wind gusts of 30 mph or more were recorded across the Valley on Thursday morning.
Most of the snow was expected to arrive in Carson Valley after midnight Friday, with a risk of icy roads for the morning's commute.
No more than 2 inches of snow is expected to fall in the Valley on Friday, but another storm is expected over the weekend.
The Nevada Highway Patrol issued a warning to motorists to be careful on the roads during this storm.
"Motorists in Northern Nevada have experienced less than ideal driving conditions over the past month," Trooper Matt McLaughlin said. "During these last several weeks, Nevada Highway Patrol troopers have investigated countless crashes on our highways, many involving multiple vehicles. These crashes are all preventable."
McLaughlin reminded motorists that four-wheel drive doesn't improve the ability to stop on icy roads.
"We want to remind motorists that one of the most important factors to consider when driving in inclement weather is speed," he said. "A common violation during inclement weather is 'Speed Too Fast For Conditions.' The law states 'The fact that the speed of a vehicle is lower than the prescribed limits does not relieve a driver from the duty to decrease speed by reason of weather or other highway conditions and the duty of all persons to use due care.'"
He suggested motorists limit their travel during stormy conditions.
"Only travel in winter weather when necessary," he said. "Always leave yourselves plenty of time to reach your destination and space between you and the vehicles around you. Plan your route to avoid snowy/icy areas if possible. Remember to check nvroads.com or dial 511 before you begin your trip for current road conditions and restrictions."
He suggested moterists accelerate, brake and steer smoothly.
"Do not abruptly input steering or slam on the brakes," he said. "Be sure to check your tires to make sure they have sufficient tread life and are properly inflated. Know if your vehicle will require chains and have them with you if restrictions are in place. Be mindful of ramps, overpasses and shaded areas, which can remain icy even when the surrounding roadway is dry. Make sure your cell phone is charged and that you have plenty of supplies if you should become stranded or stuck."
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