1st storm in series impacting Lake Tahoe

A view of Daggett Summit on Kingsbury Grade.

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — The first storm in a series that are forecast through the upcoming week is impacting the Lake Tahoe Basin Sunday morning.

Chains and/or snow tires are required on most Tahoe highways with area resorts reporting about 5 inches of snow overnight and it’s still falling.

The only places where chains are not required are from the “Y” in South Lake Tahoe to Stateline and from the “Y” to Camp Richardson on Emerald Bay Road.

For more information on road conditions, call 511 or visit the Nevada Department of Transportation’s or Caltrans Quickmap at

The National Weather Service has a winter storm warning in effect through 4 a.m. Wednesday with 7 feet of snow possible for higher elevations in the Sierra.

The storm impacting the region Sunday is expected to drop 6 to 18 inches of snow above 7,000 feet. Residual showers will hang around through the afternoon before a pause until early Monday morning when a stronger, warmer storm marches into the basin.

The service said the Sierra will receive heavy snowfall through the day on Monday which will likely bring significant travel delays.

“A brief break will occur Monday night, before another shortwave brings cold air and snowfall to all elevations Tuesday morning,” the service said. “Heavy snowfall looks to occur in the Sierra from around 4 to 10 a.m. Tuesday. With cold air infiltrating the region Tuesday morning, snow levels will drop below valley floors.”

Snow levels on Monday will rise to 7,000-8,000 feet from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and the service said elevations below will see heavy rainfall and could flood urban areas with the wet snowpack and soil.

For Monday through Tuesday night, the service said 6 to 18 inches of snow is possible, except 2 to 5 feet above 7,000 feet and localized areas could see 5-plus feet along the Sierra crest west of the lake.

Winds will also be howling with gusts up to 50 mph on the lake creating 4-foot waves and stronger gusts could hit 160 mph on Sierra ridges.

Those traveling in the mountains during the storm face long delays, which travel may even be impossible at times, and should have an emergency kit that includes extra food, water, clothing and tire chains.

For those locals staying home, power outages again are possible.

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