Rain turns to snow, more on the way
A steady patter of rain was replaced by the silence of heavy snow falling on the South Shore early Sunday morning.
The largest storm of the winter passed quietly this weekend, causing no major accidents but dumping a welcome 2 to 3 feet of snow at ski resorts.
Oasis Aviation reported Sunday that 6 inches had fallen at Lake Tahoe Airport.
“It’s great,” said Kirkwood’s Tania Pilkinton. “It’s amazing what just two days can do.”
The snow began at Kirkwood Friday and, because of its higher elevation, the resort didn’t receive the rain that plagued other areas Saturday morning. All but two of the resort’s lifts are open and Pilkinton expects to be fully operational soon.
Sierra-at-Tahoe received 17 inches of snow over the weekend and is looking forward to getting more snow this week.
The National Weather Service is tracking two storm systems that will likely bring snow to the area Tuesday and Wednesday.
According to Rudy Cruz, a weather service specialist, another 3 feet of snow can be expected above 7000 feet, and up to 6 inches at lake level.
Rain is also be expected at the lower elevations.
“The flow pattern is from the southwest with a little bit warmer air. That tends to produce rain in the valleys and snow in the higher elevations,” Cruz said. “This will be that type of system.”
“That would mean 100 percent operation and full speed ahead,” said Sierra-at-Tahoe’s Tracy Owen Chapman. “There has been a lot of pent-up demand … I know our customers are ready.”
Heavenly Ski Resort received a foot of snow through Saturday, and spokeswoman Monica Bandows said the resort would be able to open nearly all of its terrain if it continues to snow as expected.
“After this weekend, I think we won’t be quite to 100 percent open, but we’ll be close to it,” she said. “It’s great news considering the slow start to winter we had.”
Skiers and snowboarders faced major delays getting to the new snow at Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows on the North Shore.
A propane tanker truck overturned on Highway 89 near the resorts and forced closure of the highway to Tahoe City for about nine hours Saturday morning. The highway reopened at 1:45 p.m., according to the California Highway Patrol.
The CHP reported the driver was backing when the truck went off the roadway and overturned, blocking both lanes.
No propane spilled and no injuries were reported.
– The Associated Press contributed to this article.
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