Flood watch issued for Tahoe with heavy rain from thunderstorms expected

A view of Lake Tahoe Sunday morning from Heavenly Mountain Resort.

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — While Sunday morning is beginning with sunny and calm conditions, officials are warning that heavy rains from thunderstorms later in the day and into early next week could lead to flash flooding throughout the Lake Tahoe region.

The National Weather Service in Reno on Sunday morning issued a flood watch that goes into effect at 1 p.m. and lasts through 9 p.m. Monday, June 12.

“Slow moving thunderstorms will produce areas of heavy rainfall with localized rainfall rates on the order of 1 to 1.50 inches per hour,” the advisory said. “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 and steep terrain.”

The thunderstorms will be capable of producing heavy rainfall, frequent lightning, small hail and gusty winds. Chances will decrease slightly on Tuesday and become more isolated from Wednesday through the end of the week with temperatures warming back towards seasonal levels, the service said.

Flash flooding will pose a risk over any burn scars, as well as local streams and creeks. Additionally, any areas that received tons of precipitation Saturday, will not need a whole lot of additional rain to cause issues, the service added.

Wind gusts of up to 60 mph are possible on Sunday. The chances for precipitation on Sunday are 70% during the day and 80% in the evening and dropping to 70% on Monday and 30% in the evening.

“The Storm Prediction Center has this area in a marginal risk for severe weather,” the service said. “The chances for severe weather on Monday is less than today, but the usual afternoon convection is likely areawide.”

Sunday’s high is expected to be in the mid 60s and dropping to about 60 on Monday.

A recent view of the mountains and Tahoe Keys at sunset in South Lake Tahoe.
Provided/Leon Malmed

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