Flood watch issued for Memorial Day at Lake Tahoe

Ominous clouds over Mount Tallac in July 2020 at South Lake Tahoe.
Bill Rozak/Tahoe Daily Tribune

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — The Lake Tahoe region has issued a flood watch for Memorial Day at Lake Tahoe due to possible excessive rainfall, officials said.

The National Weather Service in Reno said excessive runoff may result in flooding of rivers, creeks, streams, and other low-lying and flood-prone locations. The flood watch is in effect from 1 p.m. Monday, May 29, and lasts for eight hours.

“Area creeks and streams are running high and could flood with heavy rain,” the service said in the flood advisory. “Extensive street flooding is also possible in urbanized locations. Slow moving thunderstorms may produce areas of heavy rainfall Soils are already saturated with creeks, streams, and rivers running full due to ongoing snowmelt. It will not take as much rain to cause excessive runoff. Also, heavy rainfall may lead to flash flooding and debris flows near burn scars.”

The service is calling for  thunderstorms on Sunday mainly between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. with a 50% chance of precipitation. Isolated thunderstorms and showers are possible before 8 p.m. with precipitation chances dropping to 20%.

On Monday, Memorial Day, the service is calling for an 80% chance of rain with calm winds up to 5 mph.

With an influx of people in the region planning to enjoy the outdoors, it would be wise to have a way to seek shelter in the event of a thunderstorm.

“If a sturdy building is not immediately available, a hard-top vehicle with the windows rolled up can offer good protection from lightning,” the service said in a special weather statement. “If you plan on doing activities that will leave you vulnerable to the elements such as hiking, consider doing the bulk of those activities in the morning hours before afternoon/evening thunderstorms develop.”

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