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February 29, 2012
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Lake Tahoe weather: 2-4 more feet of snow expected; avalanche danger is high

TAHOE/TRUCKEE — A winter storm warning that began early this morning is forecast to last until noon on Thursday, according to the National Weather Service, assuring area ski resorts of a healthy and much-needed blast of fresh snow.

According to NWS, 2 to 4 feet of additional snow — on top of the 1.5 to 2 feet already received from Sunday/Monday storms — is expected above 7,000 feet by the Thursday afternoon, with 12 to 30 inches possible below that mark throughout the greater Truckee/Tahoe region.

Snow will be “heavy at times” into Thursday afternoon, according to NWS.

Aided by wind gusts of up to 55 mph below 7,000 feet and more than 100 mph along the Sierra crest, driving conditions figure to be extremely dangerous Wednesday.

Snow tire and chain restrictions are in effect along all major Sierra highways. Visit www.sierrasun.com/roadconditions for up-to-the-moment conditions.

The windy conditions are already causing some Tahoe ski resorts to close down some lifts and runs. For updates, visit each resort's Facebook page.

Avalanche danger also has been increased as of Wednesday morning, with rating of High (the fourth most dangerous of five ratings), according to the Sierra Avalanche Center.

“Dangerous natural and human-triggered avalanches are likely today due to high winds, intense snowfall, and a weak snowpack, according to the center. “Travel in or near avalanche terrain is not recommended.”

Follow updates at www.sierraavalanchecenter.org.

Below is an extended forecast from www.noaa.gov.

Today: Snow. The snow could be heavy at times. High near 31. Breezy, with a west wind around 25 mph, with gusts as high as 40 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. Total daytime snow accumulation of 4 to 8 inches possible.

Tonight: Snow showers. Low around 18. West wind between 10 and 15 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New snow accumulation of 3 to 7 inches possible.

Thursday: Snow showers likely, mainly before 4pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 32. Breezy, with a west wind between 15 and 20 mph, with gusts as high as 30 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible.

Thursday Night: A 30 percent chance of snow showers before 10pm. Partly cloudy, with a low around -1. West wind around 15 mph becoming north. Winds could gust as high as 25 mph. Little or no snow accumulation expected.

Friday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 37. Calm wind becoming east around 5 mph.

Friday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 13.

Saturday: Sunny, with a high near 45.

Saturday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 16.

Sunday: Sunny, with a high near 49.

Sunday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 19.

Monday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 52.

Monday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 21.

Tuesday: A slight chance of rain showers. Snow level 6500 feet. Partly sunny, with a high near 42.


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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated Feb 29, 2012 11:27AM Published Feb 29, 2012 11:26AM Copyright 2012 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.