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Storm arrives in Lake Tahoe area as resorts plan weekend openings

November 20, 2009 | 12:50 pm

The Lake Tahoe area is already feeling the effects of the season's first significant winter storm, and resorts in the region are expected to receive about a foot of fresh powder through tonight.

At Heavenly ski area, which overlooks the sprawling lake, today's planned opening is postponed until Saturday because of strong winds that arrived in advance of the storm. Light snow began to fall during the lunch hour.

I checked the Heavenly website and plucked its "Snowmakers" video (above), which provides an entertaining glimpse of the crews in action, and some new powder as seen from spectacular vantage points the resort is famous for.

Boreal and Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe are already open. Northstar-at-Tahoe and Squaw Valley USA will open Saturday. Alpine Meadows will open Dec. 5. Kirkwood and Sierra-at-Tahoe will open when conditions allow.

Mammoth Mountain Ski Area in the Eastern Sierra also hopes to receive a boost from the storm. It has about 100 acres open with top-to-bottom runs and a 16- to 24-inch base. Mountain High in Wrightwood and Bear Mountain and Snow Summit in Big Bear are open. Mt. Baldy plans to open before Thanksgiving.

-- Pete Thomas