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Sierra ski resorts get ready for half foot of snow today
by Associated Press
Nov 03, 2011 | 1016 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
RENO (AP) — Winds gusting in excess of 50 mph downed power lines in Reno ahead of an early winter storm expected to bring up to a half foot of snow in the Sierra Nevada by Friday morning, much to the delight of ski resorts opening some slopes this weekend.

The National Weather Service issued a winter storm advisory effective from 5 p.m. Thursday through 5 a.m. Friday for an area stretching from south of Lake Tahoe to Pyramid Lake north of Reno and east into Mineral and Lyon Counties.

“It isn’t significant in terms of putting down a lot of snowfall, but it is a decent storm,” Rhett Milne, a weather service meteorologist, told the Reno Gazette-Journal.

The service forecast 3 to 6 inches of snow above 7,000 feet and warned that temperatures dipping as low as 10 degrees near Truckee, Calif., could make for hazardous travel late Thursday and early on Interstate 80 over Donner Summit.

That wasn’t a problem at the nearby Boreal Mountain Resort, which was opening its seven-day-a-week schedule on Friday, or at Sugar Bowl Resort, which began making artificial snow Tuesday evening.

Jamie Fawcett, Sugar Bowl’s snowmaking and grooming manager, said the promising weather forecast, including snow showers, should give the snowmakers optimal conditions to continue making snow through the weekend.

Boreal opened some runs last weekend.

“The turn out last weekend for our October opening was incredible,” Boreal spokesman Jon Slaughter said. “Now the weather has turned in our favor, setting up another successful early season.”

Snowfall is expected to taper off to showers Friday but conditions will remain chilly, with high temperatures struggling to hit 40 in Reno-Sparks and remaining below freezing at Tahoe.

Ahead of the storm Thursday came winds gusting up to 50 mph in the Reno area and more than 60 mph south of Carson City. Gusts near Mount Rose exceeded 90 mph early Thursday morning.

Reno fire crews have put out a small brush fire in Sun Valley that was triggered when gusty winds broke a secondary power line in a residential area. The fire burned less than an acre, but several homes and cars were threatened until the fire was put out. Only a handful of NV Energy customers were briefly affected by a power outage.
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