SCOTT SONNER, Associated Press
RENO, Nev. (AP) — The Sierra’s first winter storm of the season slowed travel Monday on snowy mountain highways, dumped rain across most of northern Nevada, caused temporary power outages around Reno and Lake Tahoe and triggered a strong wind advisory as far south as Las Vegas.
Chains or snow tires were required on most mountain highways around Lake Tahoe at midday Monday. The area remained under a winter weather advisory until 10 p.m.
Three to four inches of snow was reported at the Mount Rose Ski Resort near Reno, and the National Weather Service said as much as 2 feet of snow was expected above 8,500 feet before the storm is expected to move off to the northeast late Monday or early Tuesday.
NV Energy reported power outages affecting more than 3,500 customers at Tahoe in Incline Village and about 1,500 in the Washoe Valley south of Reno Monday morning, but fewer than 1,000 were without power by noon.
Minor flooding was reported on local streets in Fallon about 60 miles east of Reno Monday morning but no serious damage was reported
Stormy conditions were blamed for a three-car crash that temporarily closed the Mount Rose Highway in both directions between Reno and Tahoe Sunday night. Several spin-outs were reported on Interstate 80 and an SUV slid into a power pole on a city street in Sparks, but no serious injuries were reported.
The heaviest snow had moved south of U.S. Highway 50 by noon, the weather service said.
“So far, most reports we’ve received have been less than 12 inches, though high-elevation web cams show a bit more than afoot may have accumulated above 8,500 feet,” the service said.
“Round the Tahoe Basin, snow amounts have varied from trace amounts to 3 inches or snow in the vicinity of South Lake Tahoe and Meyers, (California),” it said.
In eastern Nevada, a winter storm warning remained in effect through Tuesday morning in northern Elko County, with a winter weather advisory stretching into Lander and Eureka counties and a winter storm watch in northeast Nye County and White Pine County along the Utah line.
A 66-mph gust of wind was recorded in Nye County at 11 a.m. Monday, and a high wind advisory remained in effect until 10 p.m. in areas north and south of Las Vegas, the weather service said.
Unseasonably cool temperatures are forecast through Wednesday in southern Nevada with highs in the lower 60s, and the first hard freeze of the season is expected in the north with lows dipping into the 20s around Reno.