Lake Tahoe weather: More than 2 feet of snow possible at higher elevations |

Lake Tahoe weather: More than 2 feet of snow possible at higher elevations

A winter storm moving into the region today could drop more than 2 feet of snow at higher elevations in the mountains, according to a winter storm warning issued by the National Weather Service.

The warning is in effect from 11 a.m. Friday to 11 p.m. Saturday. Difficult travel conditions are expected during that time.

Some mountain passes were closed in advance of the storm’s anticipated arrival.

Snow accumulation above 7,000 feet could range from 1 – 2 feet of snow, with higher amounts possible in some areas. Between 6,500 – 7,000 feet, 5 – 10 inches of snow could accumulate. At lake level, Tahoe will likely see around 4 inches, although that could increase if the snow level drops faster.

According to NWS, snow levels should fall below 5,500 feet early Saturday morning with accumulating snow on passes.

Wind gusts could further hamper travel in the Sierra. Wind gusts of up to 100 mph are possible over the mountain ridges, while lower elevations could see winds as strong as 40 mph. A lake wind advisory for Tahoe is in effect Friday morning.

The city of South Lake Tahoe Public Works Department issued a reminder via Facebook earlier this week that the city’s snow removal process does not start until snow depth is more than 3 inches as measured on the ground in the Tahoe Sierra subdivision. Sander trucks will be out before snow accumulation reaches that point.

A secondary wave could bring additional chances for rain and snow Sunday night into Monday morning, with snow levels in the 4,000 – 5,000 foot range. That could potentially impact travel Monday morning.

Another storm could move into the area in the middle of next week, according to Bryan Allegretto, Tahoe snow forecaster for

“The active weather may continue with another storm possible by the middle of next week and more possible behind that into the weekend of the 11th,” Allegretto wrote in a Thursday post. “Temperatures look a little warmer into the 40’s for highs by the middle of next week.”

All this weather news is sure to be good news to area resorts hoping to open later this month.

Both Heavenly Mountain Resort and Northstar California planned to start making snow on Wednesday, Nov. 1. However, temperatures were too warm for snow-making. Officials are hoping the approaching storm will be the perfect springboard to kick off snow-making this weekend.

The two Vail Resorts-owned properties plan on opening Nov. 17, while Kirkwood Mountain Resort is targeting Nov. 22 for an opening date. Sierra-at-Tahoe has yet to publicly announce a hoped for opening date.

Regardless, they all will be chasing Mount Rose Ski Tahoe, which opened a very limited amount of terrain this past Friday and Saturday, Oct. 27 and 28.

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