Serious storm series
As snow and wind snarled traffic Sunday and delayed school openings in Truckee and North Tahoe on Monday, more snow is expected from fast-moving storms in the days ahead.Whatever falls, it will only add to totals that have nearly topped what fell during the entire 2006-07 season.There is 11.5 inches of water banked in the snow 120 percent of average for this date said Gary Barbato, hydrologist for the National Weather Service on Monday.Last year at this point the Truckee-Tahoe area was at about half of that level 6 inches of water, Barbato said.Were about a month ahead of last year, he said.Last years highest figures came at the end of February, totaling just under 15 inches of water in the snowpack, Barbato said.Despite that good news, snow caused school openings to be delayed by two hours Monday morning, according to the school district Web site.Meanwhile, fierce winds spurred electricity outages for Sierra Pacific Power Company customers on Monday throughout the region. Customers on Lake Tahoes west and south shores as well as Portola were affected. Overall, only a relatively small fraction of the power providers 45,650 California customers lost power.About 100 of them, on the West Shore, in the Ward Bowl area near the backside of Alpine Meadows Ski area, lost power Sunday night due to a problem with an underground power cable, according to company spokesman Karl Walquist. Power was restored early Monday morning, he said in an e-mail.About 75 Portola customers lost power Sunday evening due to a fire on top of a power pole, said Walquist. Their power was scheduled to be restored Monday at 1:30 p.m., he said.Winds are expected to pick up again today, with more snow today leading into the evening, said Wendell Hohmann, meteorologist for the National Weather Service.This storm isnt as wet as the last one, but it could still produce up to a foot on the summit, and 6 inches at lake level, Hohmann said. Its a medium system that should move through quickly, tapering overnight.Following that, the next storm should blow through Thursday afternoon, and another one on Saturday, he said.We should see quick-moving systems every other day, Hohmann said. And we should probably get a break next week.
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