updated 4/23/2007 10:33:14 AM ET 2007-04-23T14:33:14

A spring storm left up to 18 inches of snow in the Sierra Nevada on Sunday, snarling traffic but causing excitement at the few ski areas still open.

“Looking out the window, it seems more like Christmastime,” said Juanita Holley, spokeswoman for the California Department of Transportation’s Kingvale station along Interstate 80 near Donner Summit.

I-80’s westbound lanes over Donner Summit were temporarily shut down Sunday after slick road conditions caused vehicles to spin out of control, Holley said.

To the south, the storm also closed a stretch of Highway 88 near Kirkwood, Calif.

The storm came too late for most Lake Tahoe ski resorts after a disheartening season that saw less than half the usual snowfall.

“The new snow is great for die-hard skiers and snowboarders, and will provide good conditions for the rest of spring,” said Rachael Woods, spokeswoman for Alpine Meadows, which plans to shut down April 29.

The Heavenly and Mount Rose resorts closed for the season on Sunday. Squaw Valley and Mammoth Mountain are aiming to stay open through Memorial Day weekend, while Kirkwood also plans to close April 29.

Around Lake Tahoe, the storm left as much as 18 inches of snow at Kingvale, 15 inches at Alpine Meadows, 12 inches at Homewood, Calif., 7 inches at Mount Rose and 4 inches at South Lake Tahoe, Calif.

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