Ski resorts encouraged by winter weather forecast

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Ski resorts encouraged by winter weather forecast

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Squaw Valley

As the Sierras gear up for 6 to 12 inches of snowfall in the higher elevations Wednesday, ski resorts are encouraged that the season will begin with the help of Mother Nature, which, in recent years, hasn't always been the case.

The National Weather Service in Reno has issued a winter weather advisory for today from 10 AM to 10 PM for altitudes of 7,000 feet and higher in the greater Lake Tahoe area where they expect up to a foot of snow. There will be periods of light snow this morning that will increase in intensity throughout the day.

Meteorologist Mark Deutschendorf says this medium-sized storm is to be expected as November is the beginning of the wet season, but drivers should use caution.

"For anyone who is driving over any of the Sierra passes, we're expecting Interstate 80, Highway 50, and Mount Rose Highway, we're expecting to see some snow accumulate over the roads and become slick and hazardous, so chain controls are likely to be issued."

Over at Squaw Valley, Amelia Richmond says the winter storm is coming just in time for the resort's scheduled opening next week.

Three years ago, the resort had its highest snowfall on record with 810 inches, but since then dry conditions have impacted business.

"Two years ago, we had a pretty dry season up until February and March, which was difficult for a lot of the resorts and the businesses; however, last year was also a fairly dry season in terms of snowfall, but we got all the snow really early, so we had a great Christmas holiday period and the conditions stayed great throughout the rest of the season."

Richmond says a typical winter averages about 450 inches of snow.

Squaw Valley has been consistently making snow the last few weeks and was not affected by last week's unseasonably warm weather because the nighttime temperatures in the mountains remained chilly.