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Up to 4 inches of snow falling an hour at Lee Canyon; rain spreads over valley

Updated January 14, 2023 - 11:19 pm

A winter storm was dropping heavy amounts of snow in the Spring Mountains and rain across almost all of the Las Vegas Valley on Saturday evening.

“We are getting about 4 inches an hour right now,” Jim Seely, marketing director for Lee Canyon, said about 6 p.m. “I’m estimating, but we had about 4 inches before this … and we are expecting 17 to 24 inches overnight.”

The main band of snow was expected to fall until around 10 p.m. with some possible snow or showers after that, National Weather Service meteorologist Barry Pierce said.

Lee Canyon had about 80 inches of snow at its base prior to Saturday’s storm. The record is 255 inches in the 2004-05 season and the norm is 155 inches a year, Seely said.

The storm was forecast to drop up to 2 feet of snow and create difficult driving conditions, said the weather service.

A winter storm warning was to run until 4 a.m. Sunday.

Avalanche mitigation

Lee Canyon said in an email that it expects up to 18 inches of fresh snow by Sunday morning.

The Nevada Highway Patrol and Nevada Department of Transportation will be monitoring roads to address safety issues. Some roads could be closed.

Lee Canyon will conduct avalanche mitigation starting around sunrise Sunday. The parking lot will not open until about 8:30 a.m.

The NHP and NDOT will not permit vehicles to idle on the road waiting for the lot to open, so plan on arriving at 8:30 a.m. or later.

Vehicles are required to have four-wheel drive or chains.

Skiers/snowboarders must have their season pass or have downloaded the QR code for their daily pass purchase to show NHP officers.

Heavy snow was falling in the Sierra Mountains of California and Northern Nevada. Huge delays were being experienced on eastbound Interstate 80 near Donner Summit, according to CalTrans.

Up to 6 feet of new snow was forecast for the Sierras.

The weather service website for Reno showed precipitation every hour for the past 30 hours. No snow inch totals were available.

Rain in valley

In the Las Vegas Valley, radar showed showers over most of the valley at 6 p.m. South-southwest winds were around 10 mph at Harry Reid International Airport.

Flood gauges showed measurements of .08 to .16 of an inch over much of the valley with more than a quarter-inch at Red Rock Canyon.

Showers are an 80 percent chance Saturday night mainly before 10 p.m. Winds of 18-22 mph could gust to 301 mph.

The Sunday morning low will be around 45. Mostly sunny conditions and a high near 58 are expected with winds to 11 mph.

A 30 percent chance of rain returns on Sunday night, mostly after 10 p.m.

Martin Luther King Day is forecast for a 50 percent chance of rain and a high near 54.

Contact Marvin Clemons at mclemons@reviewjournal.com. Follow @Marv_in_Vegas on Twitter.

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