Old Man Winter greets Sierra Nevada | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Old Man Winter greets Sierra Nevada

Tune up your snow blowers, buy some tire chains and wax up that snowboard.

The first snow of the season made its way down to lake level Monday morning.

It’s only a matter of time before there’s a lot more.

While much of the snow falling Sunday night and Monday morning had melted by noon, there is no doubt Old Man Winter has let Lake Tahoe know he’s coming.

Oasis Aviation at the airport reported 3 inches fell by 7 a.m. Monday. The higher-elevation areas received much more.

Tania Magidson, spokeswoman for Kirkwood, said the Alpine County resort received as much as 12 inches during the storm.

“It’s exciting,” she said. “It’s always fun to see that first big dump.”

While the region had been hit by a few more storms last year at this time, Magidson said the heavy snow last year didn’t start until around the middle of November.

Snowmaking at Kirkwood has begun.

“Last year, we opened the week before Thanksgiving,” she said. “We’ll be open as soon as we have enough snow, which, for us, is about 3 feet. Hopefully, we’ll be open by the 19th.”

Steve Otteson, meteorologist for the National Weather Service Reno office, said the weather likely will clear up for the rest of the week. Tahoe residents – those who are eager for the snow to fall, anyway – need not worry, however.

“I believe (last year) we had a few more storms in late October and early November than we did this year,” Otteson said. “But you can’t assume we’re going into a drought or anything with that.”

Chain controls were mandatory over many of the region’s passes during the storm, and Bob Elliott, manager of Ken’s Tire Center in South Lake Tahoe, said the snowfall has reminded people of the imminent winter – and the need for snow tires.

“It’s busy every October and November, but the first snow of the season is extremely busy,” he said.

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