Heavy, soaking rain, mountain snow headed for Tahoe

Staff Report

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — A winter storm warning goes into effect Sunday afternoon and a flood watch lasts through Monday morning for Lake Tahoe with heavy rain and mountain snow in the forecast.

The National Weather Service in Reno is forecasting more than a foot of heavy, wet snow for some mountain passes leading to hazardous travel conditions and commute impacts for Monday morning and possibly Sunday evening and strong winds that could cause tree damage.

The service’s winter storm warning lasts through 11 p.m. Monday.

The greatest impact is forecast to be over Mount Rose Summit where 12-18 inches of snow could fall, the service said. More modest amounts of 4-8 inches are expected for Donner Pass on Interstate 80 and Echo Summit and 3-5 inches for Spooner Summit on U.S. Highway 50.

The service said communities around the Tahoe Basin are likely to only receive an inch or two with mainly rain falling, however there is a 30% chance of 6 inches if snow levels fall faster than forecast.

The heaviest snowfall rates of 1-2 inches per hour are possible at pass elevations between 8 p.m. Sunday and 4 a.m. Monday.

Winds are expected to gust up to 50 mph in the basin with well over 100 mph on ridges. The water will be extremely rough on Lake Tahoe.

If traveling, officials advise preparing for long delays and to carry an emergency kit with extra food, water, clothing.

Chains are required Sunday morning on all vehicles except 4-wheel drive with snow tires on Nevada State Route 431 from Slide Meadows to Slide Mountain Highway.

The service said a strong atmospheric river will continue through tonight with 4-6 inches of rain expected for the basin leading to possible debris flows, ash flows, rock and tree falls, especially in burn scars. Significant rises on rivers, small creeks and streams are expected.

The flood watch lasts through 11 a.m. on Monday.

Sunday’s expected high of 46 drops to 37 for Monday and about 40 for Tuesday. The overnight lows will be around freezing to the high 20s.

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