Snow Falls in Sierra as Strong Winds Cause Damage in Reno

Associated Press
Published: September 16, 2019
This photo provided by Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows shows a fresh dusting of snow at the Squaw Valley Alpine Ski resort on Monday, Sept. 16, 2019.
(Marcus Morgan/Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows via AP)

A late-summer snowfall arrived Monday in the Sierra Nevada, dropping the first snow of the season along the California-Nevada line as strong winds blew into the Reno area, damaging a small plane that was blown off the runway at an airport north of the city.

Some 10 miles west of Truckee, California, snow accumulated on Interstate 80 at the top of Donner Summit on Monday afternoon, as seen in a tweet from Caltrans.

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Additionally, at least two ski resorts near Lake Tahoe also shared images on social media of the snow falling in the higher elevations. While meteorological fall began on Sept. 1, the fall equinox isn't until next Monday.

The Nevada Department of Transportation ordered chains or snow tires to be on place for vehicles traveling on the upper section of the Mount Rose Highway connecting Reno to Incline Village at Lake Tahoe.

Rain was falling in the valleys around Reno and Sparks Monday afternoon as the cold front sent temperatures plummeting across western Nevada. Temperatures were 15 to 20 degrees cooler than Sunday's highs in the upper 80s and low 90s.

The National Weather Service issued a red flag warning effective until 6 p.m. Monday for most of northern Nevada because of high winds and low humidity that could create dangerous fire conditions. It was canceled along the eastern front of the Sierra at midday because of the rain.

Winds had been gusting up to 44 mph at Reno Stead Airport on Monday morning before a small airplane was blown off the runway. The plane suffered significant damage but no one was hurt.

Wind gusts of 50 to 60 mph were possible in wind-prone areas of the U.S. Highway 395 corridor along the Sierra's eastern front.

Weather service forecasters in Reno said lows Tuesday morning may reach the freezing mark for outlying valleys across western Nevada with 20s possible for Sierra valleys.

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