Multiple feet of snow, blustery winds, cold temps for Lake Tahoe through weekend
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — The snow is stacking up at Lake Tahoe as another series of storms makes their way through the region.
Bundle up and drive slow because a cold and stormy period that began earlier this week is expected to continue through the end of the month and into March.
Tahoe resorts are reporting about a foot or more of new snow in the last 24 hours with Palisades Tahoe reporting 18 inches, Northstar California receiving 12 inches with 11 inches at Kirkwood Mountain Resort.
Chain controls are in effect throughout the region. State Route 89 has again closed through Emerald Bay. State Route 88 at Carson Pass and Carson Spur is currently closed with no estimated time for reopening at this time, according to a Kirkwood social media post.
“Please be patient this morning as we work through getting more staff on mountain,” the post said.
Palisades Tahoe said Alpine Meadows Road will be closing at 7 a.m. for snow safety measures and will reopen as soon as the work is done.
“Thanks for your patience and please remember your snow chains today,” Palisades tweeted.
The National Weather Service has a winter weather advisory in effect through 10 a.m. Saturday that is calling for multiple feet of snow, and another advisory is likely on its heels with a “classic” winter storm expected early next week.
From Thursday into early Friday, the advisory calls for 4 to 12 inches of snow, except 1 to 2 feet above 7,000 feet near and west of State Route 89. Winds will gust up to 90 mph along Sierra ridgelines with 35 mph gusts in the basin which will create waves up to 4 feet on the lake.
For Friday morning through Saturday, the service is calling for additional accumulations of 8 to 15 inches at lake level and 1 to 2 feet on the Sierra crest. Winds will die down a bit with gusts up to 60 mph.
Traveling in the mountains during this time will be difficult to impossible. The work commute will be impacted and long delays are possible. Strong winds could lead to whiteout conditions and also cause tree damage. The cold wind chills as low as 20 below zero could cause frostbite on exposed skin in as little as 30 minutes.
“There may be big differences in snow totals over short distances due to the showery nature of the storms through Thursday night,” the advisory said. “Snow will become more widespread and steady overnight into Friday morning.”
For road conditions, call 511 or visit https://www.nvroads.com or http://quickmap.dot.ca.gov. Be prepared if traveling in the mountains with an emergency kit that includes extra food and water, warm clothing and tire chains.
The storms keep coming with a short “break” on Sunday before another system charges into the basin on Sunday night and is expected to last through Wednesday.
The service said it continues to see increases in snow totals with a 75% chance of exceeding 3 feet of snow in the high Sierra over the multi-day period.
Those venturing outdoors should bundle up with the high temperatures through the weekend expected to be in the upper 20s and possibly in the low 30s.
The overnight lows will be in single digits to the low teens.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around the Lake Tahoe Basin and beyond make the Tahoe Tribune's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.