Another winter storm on the horizon |

Another winter storm on the horizon

TOM GARDNER, Associated Press Writer

RENO — Another powerful storm took aim at the Sierra on Wednesday, with forecasters calling for nearly a foot and a half of snow on the ridges and an inch or so in the valleys of western Nevada.

A winter storm warning extended along the California-Nevada state line from north of Susanville, Calif., past South Lake Tahoe.

“The front will probably hit tonight with cold, unstable air behind it,” National Weather Service forecaster Tom Cylke said Wednesday. “We’re looking at around a foot, maybe up to 16 inches along the Sierra Crest.”

He said 4-8 inches were likely around Lake Tahoe with an inch or two by morning in the higher valleys around Reno and Carson City followed by another couple of inches during the day Thursday.

Cylke said motorists planning travel into the Sierra through Thursday should be prepared for winter driving conditions, including poor visibility and slick roads.

The pre-Christmas storm will add to what’s already a memorable year in the Sierra, where Alpine Meadows has a base of more than 9 1/2 feet of snow at mid-mountain and Kirkwood, nearly 13 feet.

“We have great coverage over the entire mountain. No obstacles. The snow quality is really good — fluffy, light, incredible skiing,” Tania Pilkinton, Kirkwood’s director of media relations said.

“I’ve been here since 1981 and I can’t remember a year when it was so good over the Christmas holidays.”

After two dry years, this fall has seen the snowpack exceed half of its seasonal average. Winter begins Friday.

Cylke said the chance of snow showers would continue into Saturday, followed by a return of fair-weather high pressure on Sunday. Highs in the 40s will pretty much doom the possibility of a white Christmas in the valleys.

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