Storm warning: Multiple feet of snow expected through weekend

Bill Rozak
LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — Multiple feet of snow is expected for Lake Tahoe through the weekend from two separate storms with the first entering the region Wednesday night.

The National Weather Service in Reno issued a winter storm warning Tuesday afternoon for up to 2 feet of snow above 7,000 feet and 10 to 20 inches at lake level. The warning is in effect from 10 p.m. Wednesday to 10 a.m. Friday.

Strong winds will reach up to 45 mph with gusts near or above 100 mph over Sierra ridgetops.

Travel during the warning will be difficult with hazardous conditions impacting the morning and evening commutes. Strong winds could cause damage to trees and lead to power outages.

The heaviest snowfall rates are anticipated Thursday and could reach 3 inches per hour. The combination of heavy snow and strong winds may lead to whiteout conditions and hazardous driving conditions.

Officials urge motorists to stay off the roads.

“If you must travel, prepare for long delays and carry an emergency kit with extra food, water and clothing,” the warning said. “If you stay home, have a backup plan in case of power outages.”

For road conditions, check with Caltrans at and NDOT at

The Sierra Avalanche Center has also issued an avalanche watch through Friday morning for the region.

The center said, “A winter storm and gale winds loading substantial amounts of new snow onto a weak existing snowpack may result in widespread avalanche activity in the mountains. Large avalanches could occur in a variety of areas.”

The weather service said on Wednesday morning that the next storm expected to hit the region on Saturday may not be as strong as Thursday’s, however the slower moving system may provide another 1 to 2 feet.

Officials said this snow will last from Saturday morning through Sunday night, with the most persistent snowfall likely being Saturday night into Sunday morning.

Winds will start to pick up Saturday morning ahead of the system and peak Saturday evening, with gusts along the Sierra crest 80-plus mph.

The high temperatures through the weekend will be in the upper 30s and will struggle to reach 40.

After the storms pass, the service said next week will begin with dry conditions and below average temps.

Detailed forecast for 904 ft

Areas of frost early in the morning. Mostly sunny. Highs 48 to 58. Prevailing southeast winds up to 10 mph shifting to the south in the afternoon.
Mostly cloudy. A chance of rain after midnight. Lows 33 to 45. Prevailing south winds up to 15 mph. Gusts up to 35 mph after midnight.
Rain, breezy. Highs 39 to 49. Prevailing south winds 15 to 25 mph with gusts to around 40 mph.
Thursday Night
Mostly cloudy. Rain showers and heavy snow showers likely in the evening, then a chance of rain and snow showers after midnight. Colder. Lows 23 to 33. Little or no snow accumulation lower elevations…up to 3 inches higher elevations. Prevailing southeast winds up to 15 mph.
Partly cloudy in the morning then clearing. Widespread frost in the morning. Highs 40 to 50. Prevailing east winds up to 10 mph in the morning becoming light.
Friday Night
Mostly clear. Areas of frost. Lows 25 to 35.
Mostly cloudy with a chance of rain and snow. Highs 40 to 50.
Saturday Night
Rain. Lows 32 to 42.
Rain showers likely. Highs 39 to 51.
Sunday Night
Partly cloudy with a chance of rain and snow showers. Colder. Lows 26 to 36.
Partly cloudy with a slight chance of rain and snow showers. Highs 41 to 51.
Monday Night
Mostly clear. Areas of frost. Lows 27 to 35.
Mostly sunny. Widespread frost. Highs 44 to 52.

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