Wintry storm brings snow to Reno, flurries to Las Vegas

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LAS VEGAS (AP) — Christmas brought snow to Reno and flurries to Las Vegas as wintery weather swept east from the Sierra Nevada.

National Weather Service meteorologist Dawn Johnson said Friday that while a snowstorm was letting up in Reno, icy temperatures remained.

Motorists found treacherous roads and low visibility during the height of the storm on Thursday, with Interstate 80 closed for a time east of Sparks due to poor visibility and multiple car spin-outs and crashes. No serious injuries were reported.

NHP Trooper Duncan Dauber said two Nevada Highway Patrol vehicles were damaged by skidding vehicles.

Up to 2 feet of snow fell at Lake Tahoe ski areas, and up to 5 inches in Reno and Sparks, Johnson said Friday.

"Cold is going to stick around all through the weekend in the northern part of the state" she said.

Daytime temperatures weren't forecast to crack the freezing mark, with lows in the single-digits in the city and below zero in mountain and valley areas.

In Elko, City Manager Curtis Calder told the Elko Daily Free Press that a cold weather emergency shelter will likely open for the second time this season. The shelter only opens if temperatures are below zero.

Outside town, the SnoBowl Ski & Bike Park also planned to open Saturday and Sunday.

SnoBowl Manager Roche Bush told the Free Press ( the 18 inches of snow in the parking lot was the most he'd seen in several years.

In Las Vegas, the weather service heralded rare Christmas Day snow flurries with the posting, "Ho, ho, ho! Vegas got snow!"

Weather service meteorologist Chris Stachelski noted that the trace of snow recorded with rain showers overnight at McCarran International Airport tied a Christmas Day record set in 1941, and tied in 1988 and 2008.

Nothing stuck on the sidewalks of the Strip, but some northwest Las Vegas neighborhoods received a dusting of snow. It melted as the morning dawned clear and sunny with temperatures in the high 30s.

Meteorologist John Salmen said the wet weather blew in with windy squalls that brought gusts up to 38 mph between midnight and 2 a.m.

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