Published Friday, Nov. 22, 2013 | 9:23 a.m.
Updated Friday, Nov. 22, 2013 | 4:35 p.m.
A slow and steady rain that contributed to power outages and more than 250 traffic accidents across the Las Vegas Valley is going to hover over the area through most of Saturday, according to the National Weather Service.
The weather system, a trough of low pressure sucking up moisture off the coast of San Diego and funneling it to Southern Nevada, brought 0.9 inch of rain to McCarran International Airport on Thursday and another quarter inch is expected today, NWS Meteorologist Chris Stumpf said.
Las Vegas Ski and Snowboard Resort on Mount Charleston reported six inches of snow Thursday, and the mountain may get up to a foot of snow before the end of the weekend, Stumpf said.
This morning, a five-car pileup on U.S. 95 near Tropicana Avenue caused major delays, Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper Jeremie Elliot said.
There were no serious injuries, but clearing the cars and debris left many morning commuters sitting in gridlock, he said.
Elliot said the Nevada Highway Patrol responded to 93 crashes on Friday as of 3 p.m., already about three to four times higher compared with an average day.
The department responded to responded to 169 crashes on Thursday.
Officer Laura Meltzer says Las Vegas police fielded 112 car crash calls in a rainy five-hour period between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Thursday. There was a significant spike in wrecks compared with a normal Friday, Officer Bill Cassell said.
Cassell said motorists used to bone-dry roads forget they need to change their driving habits when storms roll in.
"People don't understand they have less traction," Cassell said. "When it's rainy and dark, it's tougher to see other vehicles and pedestrians."
At about 4:30 p.m. Thursday, some 90 NV Energy customers lost power in the area of Jones Boulevard and Charleston Boulevard, according to NV Energy spokeswoman Michelle Booth. NV Energy technicians need to replace a utility poll in the area, but power should be restored sometime today.
On Thursday, there were at least three major power outages that affected more than 2,000 customers combined. The largest, centered at Charleston Boulevard and Maryland Parkway, left about 1,000 customers without power for two hours Thursday evening.
Thursday’s thorough soaking resulted in the wettest day of the year and the most rain on a single day in the valley since a record-setting storm Sept. 11, 2012, dumped 1.18 inches of rain at McCarran and as much as two inches in other parts of the valley.
More rain is expected Saturday, but precipitation is expected to be more scattered, Stumpf said.
The storm front should move out of the region by Sunday, giving way to clear skies and a high temperature near 60 degrees.
“Sunday through Wednesday there will be a warming trend, but clouds will increase as the next system approaches. Sunday, Monday and Tuesday will be nice, but we could see more precipitation by Thanksgiving Day or that evening,” Stumpf said.
Sun reporter Ana Ley and the Associated Press contributed to this report.