More than a foot of snow in Sierra; schools closed |

More than a foot of snow in Sierra; schools closed

Photo by Josh Miller/Sierra Sun Brian Shurtleff of the California Dept. of Food and Agriculture clears snow in front the Agriculture Station on Interstate 80.

Associated PressA windy, winter storm that dumped more than a foot of snow on parts of the northern Sierra was forecast to taper off Tuesday but another storm was close behind.

A winter storm warning remained in effect until noon in the Lake Tahoe basin where snow was still falling Tuesday and winds were gusting up to 40 miles per hour. The warning stretched until at least 4 p.m. farther to the south in California’s Mono County.As much as two feet of snow was expected in the higher elevations around Lake Tahoe before the storm was forecast to head off to the northeast.Schools were closed Tuesday in the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District.

Chains were mandatory on U.S. Interstate 80 for nearly a 60-mile stretch from the California state line just west of Reno to past Gold Run. Chains or snow tires were required on all of the mountain passes and California state Highway 89 was closed on the west side of Lake Tahoe near Bliss State Park.A snow advisory was in effect in Reno and Carson City but only rain was falling in most areas lower than 5,000 feet elevation. About a foot of snow was expected at Tahoe’s lake level, 6,200 feet.Gusty southwest winds continued across much of the region and wind advisories were in effect in several western Nevada counties. Gusts up to 78 miles per hour were reported Monday night in the foothills on the southwest edge of Reno, the National Weather Service said.

The next storm should bring some warmer air to the region, where single-digit lows set records last week.”The storm will scour out this Arctic air we’ve had,” said Jim Fischer, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Reno. “We should be back to temperatures around the 40s.””It’s a pretty wet pattern,” he said. “We will see at least a chance of showers through Wednesday.”Partly cloudy or sunny skies are expected from Wednesday through the weekend.

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