Winter finally arrives in Sierra, northern Nevada |

Winter finally arrives in Sierra, northern Nevada

RENO, Nev. (AP) ” Winter finally arrived in the Sierra and northern Nevada, bringing heavy snow to Lake Tahoe ski resorts and making a mess of the Friday morning commute for motorists in the Reno-Carson City area.

“If you’re headed out, you’re not going to make it in the time you normally do,” said Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper Chuck Allen, who cautioned drivers to slow down and allow extra time on the slick roads.

No major accidents were reported, but Allen said officers stayed busy with numerous spin outs and fender-benders.

Chains or snow tires were required on all mountain passes, including Interstate 80 over Donner Summit, U.S. 50 over Echo Summit, Highway 88, the Mount Rose Highway southwest of Reno, and a 100-mile stretch of U.S. 395 from Bridgeport, Calif., north to the Reno limits.

A winter storm warning remained in effect until 11 a.m. for the Lake Tahoe region, where snow began falling around midday Thursday and continued through the night. The National Weather Service predicted up to 2 feet of snow above 7,000 feet.

The gift from Mother Nature was more than welcome by ski resorts coming up on the busy holiday season. Until now, they’ve had to rely on manmade snow.

“We are excited that the snow is falling,” said Savannah Cowley, spokeswoman at Squaw Valley USA. “This is what we really needed to get the season going.”

The Washoe County School District canceled classes at all Incline Village schools on the east side of Lake Tahoe because of snow. Schools in the Reno-Sparks area were delayed by an hour.

Schools in the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District were on a two-hour delay.

In the Reno-Carson City area, snow began falling after midnight Thursday.

A heavy snow warning issued for the region was expected to expire at 11 a.m.

Forecasters said valley areas could receive anywhere from 2-5 inches, depending on location, with higher amounts in the some of the foothill areas.

The storm system was expected to push east by midday, where snow advisories were issued for much of northeast Nevada.

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