Lake Tahoe weather: Blizzard warning, winter storm and avalanche watches in effect
The adverse weather advisories at Lake Tahoe are starting to pile up — possibly faster than the snow is.
A blizzard warning is set to take effect at 8 a.m. Thursday and last until 4 a.m. Friday, which is when the heaviest snow is expected, according to the National Weather Service in Reno. Wind gusts could be a strong as 45 mph in South Lake Tahoe Thursday.
“Strong winds and heavy snowfall rates will cause whiteout conditions with blowing snow,” the service warns.
A winter storm warning remains in effect until 10 a.m. Saturday. Anywhere from 2 to 5 feet of snow is expected above 7,000 feet in the Sierra, while 1 to 3 feet is possible at lake level.
Schools in South Lake Tahoe and Incline Village are closed today — including the colleges. The weather service is advising motorists stay off the roads and avoid traveling until the storm passes.
“This is a life threatening situation. Do not attempt to travel! Road crews and first responders may not be able to rescue you. Stay indoors until the snow and wind subside. Even a short walk could be deadly if you become disoriented.”
While originally anticipated to hit Wednesday evening, the storm’s arrival was pushed back to early Thursday morning on South Shore. Shortly before 5:30 a.m. Thursday Sierra-at-Tahoe reported 6 inches of new snow in 24 hours at its summit. Heavenly Mountain Resort reported 1 inch while Kirkwood Mountain Resort reported 8 inches.
Along with the blizzard and winter storm advisories, an avalanche watch is in effect in the Sierra from Yuba Pass to Ebbetts Pass, an area that includes the Lake Tahoe Basin. Avalanche danger is expected to rise to high Thursday through Saturday, according to the Sierra Avalanche Center in Truckee.