Dusting of snow hits Thursday, possibly Sunday | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Dusting of snow hits Thursday, possibly Sunday

Sarah Gonser

Just as South Shore roads were becoming clear of ice and slush, a fresh layer of snow fell late Thursday afternoon.

Weather forecaster Mark Brown said it would be a short-lived storm and predicted a dry, cloudy weekend, with only slight chances of snow.

“The worst of the snow will be over by Thursday evening, with accumulations of 7 to 10 inches,” said Brown, a meteorologist for the Reno office of the National Weather Service. “But really, it looks wet right into the end of the month.”

Brown said Friday should be mostly cloudy with daytime temperature highs around 43 degrees and nighttime lows around 20 degrees. Saturday should be cloudy, with chances of snow down to 5,500 feet and temperature highs in the mid-40s. Temperatures Sunday, Brown said, should be in the upper 30s.

Road conditions Thursday required the use of chains or snow tires on Luther Pass and Echo Summit, according to Norm Butts of the California Department of Transportation.

Drivers along the entire Basin lengths of U.S. Highway 50 and State Route 28 were also required to use chains or snow tires.

“We have wind advisories down here in the valley and on (U.S. Highway) 395,” said Scott Magruder, public information officer for the Nevada Department of Transportation. “Even if the conditions aren’t exactly terrible at the lake, as soon as there’s new snow and slush, we require chains or snow tires.”

Road conditions are assessed and conveyed to the department of transportation through a combination of patrolling highway crews and small gadgets embedded in the pavement called Road Weather Information Systems, Magruder said.

“They’re actual pavement sensors attached to computer link-ups at our dispatch office. We can tune into the temperature on the highway and tell if it’s raining, snowing, how hard the wind is blowing and the humidity level,” Magruder said. “It pretty much gives us a snapshot of what’s going on.”

The Nevada Department of Transportation has been using Road Weather Information Systems for six years, Magruder said.

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