Winter storm in Tahoe’s forecast | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Winter storm in Tahoe’s forecast

A light dusting covers the slopes at Hevenly Mountain Resort on Oct. 20.

By Friday it will be beginning to look a bit like winter in the mountains, at least if the most recent forecasts hold up.

An early season winter storm is forecast to move into northern California and Nevada starting Friday, with snow impacting travel in the Sierra Nevada Friday night, Saturday and into Sunday, according to a special statement from the National Weather Service. Windy conditions could further hamper travel.

Rain and snow could start falling by Thursday night. The heaviest precipitation is expected on Friday night and Saturday. Sow levels could fall below 5,500 feet Saturday afternoon with accumulating snow on mountain passes.

"We could see a couple inches at lake level Sunday and by Monday morning we could have several inches up to 2 feet on the mountains," Bryan Allegretto, Tahoe snow forecaster for OpenSnow.com, wrote in a Tuesday post.

The early season storm comes as local resorts ramp up efforts to open for the 2017-18 season.

Both Heavenly Mountain Resort and Northstar California plan on starting snowmaking operations today, Nov. 1. The two Vail Resorts-owned properties plan on opening Nov. 17, while Kirkwood Mountain Resort is targeting Nov. 22 for an opening date. Sierra-at-Tahoe has yet to publicly announce a hoped for opening date.

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Regardless, they all will be chasing Mount Rose Ski Tahoe, which opened a very limited amount of terrain this past Friday and Saturday.

And, in what is sure to be more good news for skiers and riders, this weekend's storm could be a taste of more to come.

Cooler temperatures are expected to linger next week with highs in the 30s at higher elevations and in the 40s at lake level.

"We could see another storm around the middle of next week and then possibly more storms after that," Allegretto wrote.

The city of South Lake Tahoe Public Works Department issued a reminder via Facebook that the city's snow removal process does not start until snow depth is more than 3 inches as measured on the ground in the Tahoe Sierra subdivision. Sander trucks will be out before snow accumulation reaches that point.

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