Lake Tahoe weather: Snow continues to fall, flood watch set for this weekend | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Lake Tahoe weather: Snow continues to fall, flood watch set for this weekend

Ryan Hoffman rhoffman@tahoedailytribune.com

Add flood watch to the growing list of recent weather advisories in the Tahoe Basin.

The National Weather Service out of Reno issued the flood watch for the greater Lake Tahoe area, greater Reno-Carson area and Minden area Wednesday morning.

The warning, which is in effect from late Saturday night through Monday morning, comes as snow continues to fall in South Lake Tahoe and elsewhere in the mountains.

According to NWS, an atmospheric river is expected to cause intense rain, with snow levels rising as high as 9,000 feet early Sunday morning to Monday morning. Totals could range from 6 to 12 inches of rainfall around the Tahoe Basin.

The rain on already saturated soil could cause excessive runoff and the snowfall that is expected to continue through Thursday morning could block drainage paths, causing additional issues.

South Shore ski resorts have reported as much as 3 feet of new snow in the past 48 hours.

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UPDATE 7:55 a.m.

Caltrans District 3 announced via Twitter that it has lifted a traffic hold on U.S. 50 for avalanche control. Eastbound traffic was being held at Echo Pass and westbound traffic was held at Meyers for avalanche control.

Chain controls are still in effect on U.S. 50 between Twin Bridges and Meyers.

The National Weather Service suggests that motorists, if possible, avoid travel.

 

ORIGINAL STORY 7:35 a.m.

Aside form some more snow, little has changed overnight in terms of the immediate forecast for the Lake Tahoe Basin.

The National Weather Service out of Reno reaffirmed its winter storm warning at 4:25 a.m. Wednesday, with few changes between then and Tuesday’s warning that upgraded winter storms.

Currently the winter storm warning is in effect until 4 a.m. Thursday, with moderate to heavy snow expected through that time. Another 6 to 12 inches could fall at lake level, while elevations greater than 7,000 feet could receive another 1 to 2 feet of snow.

Wind gusts of 45 mph at lower elevations and gusts ranging from 80 to 100 mph across Sierra ridges will contribute to visibility issues in the region, including what the NWS calls “dangerous conditions for travel and outdoor activities.”

“Whiteout conditions are occurring over mountain passes and areas exposed to gusty winds,” NWS warns.

Meanwhile, Caltrans is reporting that traffic is being held on U.S. 50 at Meyers for avalanche control. Visit http://www.dot.ca.gov/cgi-bin/roads.cgi for the latest road conditions.

The Forest Service’s Sierra Avalanche Center issued a backcountry avalanche warning yesterday. The warning, which remains in effect through 7 a.m. Thursday, states avalanche danger in the region is high. However, the warning does not apply to ski areas or mountain corridors where avalanche mitigation programs exist.

NWS recommends avoiding travel, if possible. Motorists could be stuck in vehicles for many hours and should prepare for long delays. That preparation includes carrying an emergency kit with food, water and clothing. Alert a relative or friend of travel plans.

SOUTH SHORE SKI RESORTS

New snow totals in past 24 hrs.

Heavenly Mountain Resort: 18 inches

Kirkwood Mountain: 20 inches

Sierra-at-Tahoe: 18 inches

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