Early season storm to bring gusty winds, snow, colder temps to Lake Tahoe
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — The first impactful snow storm of the season is expected to hit the Lake Tahoe Basin this coming week.
The National Weather Service in Reno has issued a special statement calling for strong winds that could reach triple digits, up to a foot of snow for the mountains around the lake and temperatures well below seasonal averages.
Winds are expected to increase Tuesday ahead of the cold front and range from 35 to 45 mph with gusts up to 55 mph. Sierra ridge tops could see gusts approach 100 mph.
Impacts will include possible travel restrictions for high profile vehicles on valley highways, aviation turbulence and hazardous boating conditions. Wind impacts will diminish behind the front Tuesday night, the service said.
On Tuesday, the service said precipitation will likely start out as snow above 6,000 feet as the main band pushes into northeastern California and the Sierra.
“While snow levels may rise close to 7,000 feet Tuesday afternoon, they will quickly fall to valley floors by Wednesday morning,” the statement said. “Snow showers may continue to impact northeastern California and western Nevada roadways through Wednesday night. Be prepared to carry chains and expect longer commute times if you plan on venturing into the Sierra during the middle part of the week.”
Up to a foot of snow is expected above 7,000 feet with about 3 inches possible at lake level.
The storm will also bring the coldest temperatures of the season with highs plummeting 15-20 degrees below average on Wednesday and Thursday. The highs will struggle to get out of the 30s on Wednesday and Thursday and northerly winds will make it feel cooler.
“Hard freezes are likely, particularly Thursday and Friday mornings as skies clear,” the statement said. “Teens and single digits will be common in Sierra valleys while colder spots like Bridgeport and Bodie may see sub-zero temperatures. Now is the time to complete winter protections for exposed irrigation equipment if you have not done so already.”
The temps begin to rise on Friday to a high in the low 50s and climbing to near 60 on Saturday.
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