Lake Tahoe weather: alternating rain, snow through weekend |

Lake Tahoe weather: alternating rain, snow through weekend

Claire Cudahy
An atmospheric river in early January caused flooding on some South Lake Tahoe streets, including in the Lakeview neighborhood.
Courtesy Dylan Warren |

Brace yourselves — another storm is on the way.

Starting early Thursday morning, a winter storm warning will be in effect above 6,500 feet, according to the National Weather Service in Reno. The warning is expected to remain in effect until 4 a.m. Saturday.

The storm could bring 1 to 3 feet of powder at elevations above 7,000 feet, with the largest amount of snow expected along the Sierra Crest. At lake level, accumulation could total as much as 6 inches.

Snow will move into the Sierra around 6,000 feet starting Wednesday evening. Snow levels will rise to 7,000 – 7,500 feet Thursday before falling to around 6,500 feet Friday and eventually lake level Friday night.

A chance of rain and snow is expected to linger through the weekend and into the start of the week.

According to NWS, the agency is expecting a modest atmospheric river, “meaning this storm won’t be as strong as the storms we saw earlier in January, but it still looks to have the potential to be a weak to moderate storm for the region.”

Though creeks and rivers are likely to rise due to the storm, “no flooding is expected with mainstem rivers at this time.”

The NWS warns that travel may become difficult due to snow-covered roads and low visibility across Sierra passes. The risk of avalanches is likely to increase, and conditions may be dangerous for backcountry activities.

A system in early January brought nearly 2 feet of snow followed by 4 inches of rain in South Lake Tahoe, which experienced flooding in certain parts of the city.

City Council unanimously approved a state of emergency declaration in mid-January. Less than one week later, as snow blanketed the Sierra, Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency for 50 California counties, including El Dorado.

The second wave of winter weather dumped around 100 inches of snow over seven days at three South Shore ski resorts. The accumulation caused a partial roof collapse in the Pioneer Center on Harrison Avenue.

And snow wasn’t the only thing to accumulate. School cancellations also piled up, forcing some local districts to seek waivers in order to address the number of snowdays.

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