RENO, Nev. — Chains or snow tires are required on much of U.S. Interstate 80 in the Sierra and most highways around Lake Tahoe after a winter storm packing snow and winds in excess of 130 mph blew through the region.
A weather advisory for the Reno-Tahoe area expired at 10 a.m. Tuesday but a winter storm watch goes into effect Thursday when a stronger storm is forecast to bring up to 2 feet of snow to the highest elevations.
Less than a half-foot of snow was recorded at most Tahoe-area ski resorts but dangerous winds battered the mountain tops up and down the Sierra’s eastern front. High-profile vehicles were prohibited on I-580 in the Washoe Valley between Reno and Carson City.
Chains were mandatory for all trucks and cars except for four-wheel vehicles with snow tires for about a 70-mile stretch of I-80 west of the California-Nevada line.
The National Weather Service says the strongest wind gust was 137 mph at Alpine Meadows near Tahoe City, California at 3:45 a.m. Tuesday.
The neighboring Squaw Valley resort reported a gust of 124 mph. An 85 mph gust was recorded at Mount Rose near Reno.