Another round of rain, snow set to impact Tahoe; Storm door open into next week

A view of Lake Tahoe Tuesday morning from Zephyr Cove.

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — A snowy, wet and windy Tuesday is expected at Lake Tahoe.

Strong winds, soaking rains, heavy, wet high elevation snow and travel impacts are expected from an incoming atmospheric river that is expected to last into Wednesday.

Some ski resorts have closed, or expect limited terrain to be available, ahead of the stormy weather including Palisades Tahoe and Heavenly Mountain Resort.

“Palisades Tahoe will be closed on Tuesday as another wet storm moved into the Tahoe area last night,” resort officials said. “Winds are projected to be over 100 miles per hour on our ridgelines this afternoon. Normally, this would not cause a full closure, but the compounded effect of the continuous wet and snowy weather over the past few weeks puts us in a different situation.”

Heavenly has closed the gondola and all facilities at the top of the mountain and expect additional impacts through the storm period.

The National Weather Service in Reno has a winter storm warning in effect through 5 p.m. Wednesday and a flood advisory through 11 p.m. Tuesday. One to 3 feet of snow is expected above 7,000 feet with 2 to 6 inches down to lake level and Truckee.

Sierra ridge wind gusts may exceed 100 mph with 50 mph at lower elevations making rough conditions on the lake, including waves up to 4 feet.

The service said snow levels will rise to near 8,000 feet Tuesday morning, before falling during the late afternoon to below 6,000 feet by late Tuesday night. Isolated lightning is also possible during heavier snow.

Mountain travel will be difficult to impossible with snowfall rates of 2 to 3 inches per hour at times through Wednesday morning. Those traveling should expect delays and possible road closures and prepare accordingly.

Snow loading on structures will increase due to the rain and wet snow being absorbed into the deep snowpack.

There have already been several business closures in South Lake Tahoe, including three grocery stores, both Raley’s and Safeway in Zephyr Cove. TJ Maxx and Chevron were closed on Monday.

An avalanche warning is also in effect through 7 p.m. Wednesday with gale force winds, high intensity snowfall and rain on snow all leading to possible widespread, large slides in the mountains at various elevations.

The service said there may be a dry period from Thursday into early Friday that will be followed by Sierra showers through Sunday with the weather pattern remaining active into next week.

While the showers may continue through the weekend, the service said, “Thursday through Sunday will be a good time for clean-up efforts and to prepare for another active period of impactful storms next week.”

The service said medium-to-long range guidance is keeping the storm door open with another wet system reaching the Sierra Monday and another cold storm coming into the area around midweek. 

Details are still coming into focus, but the Monday system looks to be fast moving with a little more moisture than the weekend waves while the midweek storm looks cooler with more winter-related impacts.

A view from Diamond Peak Ski Resort on Tuesday morning.

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