- Associated Press - Sunday, March 30, 2014

RENO, Nev. (AP) - A string of storms is giving a much-needed boost to a dismal Sierra snowpack just before the traditional peak of the snow season.

The Squaw Valley ski resort just north of Lake Tahoe reported 20 inches of new snow over a 24-hour period ending Sunday morning and 3.5 feet of new snow over the last week.

According to the U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service, the storms have boosted the water content of the Tahoe basin’s snowpack to 43 percent of average for the date.

Elsewhere, the snowpack water content stands at 32 percent of average in the Truckee River watershed, 59 percent in the Carson River basin and 45 percent in the Walker River watershed.

Another storm is expected to drop up to a foot of snow to higher elevations around Lake Tahoe primarily on Monday night.

The April 1 snow survey used by water resource managers traditionally shows the peak of the seasonal snowpack. Surveyors will return to the mountains on Tuesday for new measurements.

The snowfall is coming at a time when many Sierra ski resorts usually prepare to close for the season.

The latest storm caused weekend delays for motorists on Interstate 80 over Donner Summit and other mountain highways.

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