- Associated Press - Tuesday, November 24, 2015

RENO, Nev. (AP) - A snowstorm packing 50 mph winds blew into Lake Tahoe and northern Nevada on Tuesday, slowing mountain travelers getting an early start on the holiday, kicking up dust storms along U.S. Interstate 80 east of Reno and briefly knocking out power to thousands along the Sierra’s eastern front.

State troopers responded to multiple accidents on I-80 near Donner Pass southwest of Truckee, California, but no serious injuries were reported.

About 3,000 customers were without power for an hour or longer from Sparks to south of Carson City after the National Weather Service registered a 59 mph gust at its station on Reno’s north edge. About 2,000 of those without power were in Douglas County south of Gardnerville. But NV Energy said only about 200 were without power early Tuesday evening.

The National Weather Service issued a dust storm warning for a mile-long stretch of I-80 in the high desert east of Reno shortly after noon Tuesday as winds gusting in excess of 50 mph helped reduced visibility to less than one-fourth mile at times around Lovelock and less than a half-mile near Fallon.

As much as a foot of snow was expected by Wednesday morning at the upper elevations around Tahoe, with 8 inches at lake level where a winter storm warning remained in effect until 4 a.m. Wednesday, the National Weather Service said. Wind gusts were possible up to 100 mph over mountain ridge tops.

Four inches of snow already had fallen on the lake’s west and north shores by midafternoon Tuesday, with nearly 8 inches of new snow on the slopes at Squaw Valley USA ski resort.

In Reno, where a winter weather advisory runs through 4 p.m. Wednesday, the scheduled opening of the downtown outdoor ice skating rink at Aces Ballpark was canceled. Anywhere from 4 to 10 inches of snow was forecast in area valleys by Wednesday morning as a potent low pressure system headed east out of the Pacific Ocean in front of a cold front.

The system also was expected to bring cooler and breezy weather to Las Vegas, with winds gusting to 25 mph Wednesday and overnight temperatures falling into the 30s. In nearby Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, winds could gust to 65 mph, the weather service said.

Scattered snow showers were expected to continue into Thursday in northeast Nevada. The northern stretch of Humboldt and Elko counties remains under a winter storm warning until 10 a.m. Thursday, with 5 to 10 inches of snow in the forecast.

A winter weather advisory continues until 4 p.m. Thursday for the southern half of those counties, with 2 to 4 inches of snow expected along I-80 from Winnemucca to Elko, the service said.


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