RENO, Nev. (AP) – The series of storms that battered the Sierra Nevada with record snow for nearly two months has also made it the wettest year ever recorded in Reno, the National Weather Service said Wednesday. And that’s with nearly half of the water season still far from over.
The Nevada Highway Patrol responded to more than two dozen crashes on U.S. Interstate 80 and other roads in and around Reno during the Wednesday morning commute after the latest storm dumped 4 feet of snow Monday through Tuesday night on the mountain tops.
Sunny skies prevailed across the region Wednesday, but another storm is in the forecast for the weekend.
The Mount Rose Highway connecting Reno to Lake Tahoe reopened late Wednesday afternoon for the first time since an avalanche buried it in 20 feet of snow Monday night. Traffic also was moving again Wednesday night in both directions on I-80 from Reno to Sacramento. Tire chains were still required on most mountain passes, authorities said.
Rainfall at Reno-Tahoe International Airport officially surpassed the previous wettest year recorded in 1982-83 at 4 a.m. Wednesday, the weather service said. Water seasons run from October through the next September.
Since last Oct. 1, Reno has recorded 12.74 inches of precipitation, the service said. The old mark for a 12-month water season was 12.72 from Oct. 1, 1982 to Sept. 30, 1983.
The weather service has records in Reno dating to 1888. Annual rainfall in the city linking the Sierra’s eastern front to the high desert to the east averages about 7.4 inches.
Most ski resorts around Lake Tahoe have received record snow since Jan. 1. Since Sunday night, the Mount Rose ski resort southwest of Reno has received 5 feet of new snow to bring to its season-record total to 53 feet.
Copyright 2017 The Associated Press.