RENO — Day-long travel restrictions were lifted on U.S. Interstate 80 in the Sierra late Tuesday after a winter storm packing snow and winds in excess of 130 mph (209 kph) blew through the region, but more rough weather is on the way.
The National Weather Service upgraded a winter storm watch to a warning for the Reno-Tahoe area and much of the Sierra’s eastern front Thursday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. when a more powerful system is forecast to bring up to a foot (30 centimeters) of snow on mountain passes and 2 feet (60 cm) on ridge tops.
Less than a half-foot (15 cm) of snow was recorded at most Tahoe-area ski resorts Tuesday but dangerous winds battered the mountain tops and forced chain controls along about a 70-mile (110-kilometer) stretch of I-80 west of the California-Nevada line.
The National Weather Service says the strongest wind gust was 137 mph (220 kph) at Alpine Meadows near Tahoe City, California at 3:45 a.m. Tuesday.
The neighboring Squaw Valley resort reported a gust of 124 mph (200 kph). An 85 mph (137 kph) gust was recorded at the top of Mount Rose near Reno and near Walker Lake at Hawthorne