Snow falling in the Sierra (at long last)
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Thursday, 8:30 update
It's snowing in Tahoe, Truckee and the foothills; those areas received several inches overnight. Above 8,000 feet, about a foot has fallen. In Reno, it will continue to snow/rain throughout the morning.
Chris Smallcomb with the National Weather Service in Reno says they expect more by midday.
"When all is said and done, we're still thinking maybe above 2 feet (of snow) above 8000 feet and maybe 3 to 6 inches in the Truckee/Tahoe area and then several inches of snow in the foothills around Reno, including Virginia City."
Smallcomb says the storm will taper off by late morning. Around 7AM, it was already slowing down and mostly becoming showers north of i-80, while south of the freeway there are still fairly solid areas of snowfall.
Smallcomb says the snow is that classic wet and cement-like Sierra snow, and usually this storm wouldn't be much to write home about.
"In a normal winter, we wouldn't really bat an eye on it. It would be like, "eh, okay, an average winter storm." But this year we haven't seen much, so we'll definitely take it."
Temperatures will remain warm in the valley. On Wednesday, it was 65 degrees at the Reno-Tahoe International Airport--that broke a record for January 29th
The weather service is keeping its eye on a possible second round of snow, which could bring several inches late Thursday and into Friday morning. The NWS says that could mean some snow in the valley and Reno, as well as Tahoe.
Snow is desperately needed. Scientist estimate the snowpack is about a third of average.
The Tahoe Truckee Unified School District has closed all schools today due to heavy accumulations of snow.
The Douglas County School District has implemented a one-hour delay for Zephyr Cove Elementary and Whittell High School.