TRUCKEE (CBS SF) -- Just two weeks ago, the anxiety levels of Sierra ski resort operators were ratcheting up as a dry November left many of their runs lightly covered with snow and unusable.
But after a stormy week, fueled by an atmospheric river, six feet or more of snow has fallen at the higher elevations of Lake Tahoe. With clearing skies for the weekend, resort owners were bracing for a crush of skiers and snowboarders.
"We call it the Sierra Cement right, because it's so heavy we had some tree tops, basically the weigh of the snow broke them off and we had like 5 of them," said Jeff Jones as he shopped in Incline Village. "One really big one actually fell off in our backyard."
Mariel Ibarra was visiting Tahoe from San Diego. She wanted her young son to be able to play in the snow. He got his wish.
"We have a 5-year-old son and his dream was always to be in the snow," she said. "This morning he jumped out from the front yard cause it was covered in 2 feet of snow and he had the best time."
At the UC Berkeley Central Sierra Snow Lab, researchers posted photos of their buried encampment.
"A new 16.3" of snow over the last 24 hours, which brings our 7 day total to nearly 80"," the lab posted on Thursday morning. "We still have flurries this morning and clouds are starting to break up, which will lead to a couple days of calm weather. More snow on the way though!"
"We are now at 158% of average for snowfall for this time of year."
Over 5 feet of snow had fallen at the Palisades Tahoe ski resort since the storm door swung open on Sunday.
"The storm door looks to stay open, with another storm possible for Christmas Eve into Christmas Day," the resort posted on its website. "We will continue to track this one closely as well, especially with a lot of people expected to travel into the Sierra for the holidays.
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