Another storm taking aim at Tahoe; 3 feet of snow possible

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — The strong wind Saturday morning is the beginning of a multi-day storm that may dump up to 3 feet of snow on the mountains around Lake Tahoe.

The snow will lead to hazardous travel, especially over mountain passes, and chain restrictions on area highways throughout the duration of the event.

The National Weather Service in Reno issued a winter storm warning for Tahoe that lasts through 4 a.m. Monday for heavy snow and wind gusts that could hit 100 mph over Sierra ridges. 

The service is calling for 4 to 12 inches at lake level and 1 to 3 feet above 7,000 feet. Winds will gust up to 50 mph on Lake Tahoe which will create waves up to 4 feet. There is a 10-15% chance of lightning.

“Snow levels will begin relatively high (6,500-7,500 feet) with the initial push on Saturday,” the warning said. “This will result in copious amounts of snow at higher elevations with likely all rain at Lake Tahoe level, including the Truckee and Markleeville areas. Snow will transition to all snow by around daybreak Sunday.”

If traveling in the mountains this weekend, plan for long hours in the car with an emergency kit including food, water and clothing. 

The Sierra Avalanche Center in Truckee has issued a backcountry avalanche watch for 7 a.m. Sunday through 7 a.m. Monday warning of the chance for widespread, destructive avalanches. Travel in and near avalanche terrain is not recommended during high avalanche danger.

After the storms exits on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday will be mostly sunny with highs struggling to reach 40. A slight chance of snow re-enters the forecast on Thursday. Overnight lows this weekend will be in the 20s and dropping into the teens early next week.

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