Area resorts bracing for new storms after strong season |

Area resorts bracing for new storms after strong season

Dark skies threatening to unleash another shot of winter on Nevada County may not have many local drivers smiling.

But for those who prefer skis and snowboards as their winter conveyance, the foreboding skies give reason to grin.

“Our snowpack is already strong, and this is going to be great for spring skiers looking for a little more powder,” said John Monson, the marketing director at Sugar Bowl Ski Resort in Norden.

A winter storm warning through 6 p.m. today has been issued by the National Weather Service for the higher elevations, with heavy snow and strong winds gusting past 60 mph.

Steady snow in the high mountains is expected to taper off to showers on Wednesday, the service forecast.

In the foothills, rain today and wind gusting up to 25 mph could turn to snow tonight, leaving 2 to 4 inches of snow by morning, the weather service predicted. The snow level is forecast between 2,700 and 3,400 feet.

Rain and snow in the foothills is expected Wednesday morning, with as much as 1 to 2 inches of new snow possible, the service said.

Wednesday night could see more snow as low as 2,700 feet, but little accumulation is expected, the service forecast. More snow, but little accumulation, is expected Thursday down to 3,500 feet.

High snow offers season finale

The storms set to hit this week could drop more than 2 feet on top of the northern Sierra Nevada by Thursday and help to strengthen visitor totals at Sugar Bowl, Monson said.

The resort recorded 20 percent more skier visits this season from last year, Monson said, which was an admittedly off-season given low snow totals and the troubled economy.

“Last season isn’t much of a comparison, but 20 percent is 20 percent,” Monson said. The addition of Sugar Bowl’s new Summit Chair – which brings skiers to the rim of Donner Lake’s backcountry runs – contributed to the mountain’s success, he added.

Elsewhere in the Truckee-Tahoe area, resorts are bracing for the storm that shut down upper-mountain skiing Monday with high winds, but is expected to leave powder for a holiday weekend with a clear forecast.

“We’re excited,” said Jon Slaughter, marketing director at Truckee’s Boreal Mountain. “Especially with Easter being this weekend, this storm is coming at the perfect time.”

Boreal doesn’t release numbers on skier visits, Slaughter said.

Spring skiing can offer some of the best powder and best days to ski or ride, said Alpine Meadows public relations manager Rachael Woods.

“You never know what a spring storm will bring. They’re fun to watch,” Woods said. “We’ve got 2 feet in the forecast, and we’ve got a good base down already. You can still find great snow at this time of year.”

To contact Staff Writer Kyle Magin, e-mail or call (530) 477-4239.

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