‘Potent’ winter storm headed to Lake Tahoe for Thanksgiving week
It’s shaping up to be a white Thanksgiving at Lake Tahoe.
The National Weather Service in Reno has issued a winter storm watch that a “potent” winter storm is likely headed to the Tahoe Basin during Thanksgiving week which would heavily impact holiday travel.
According to the NWS, heavy snow is probable for the Sierra starting late Tuesday night making slick and snowy road conditions possible all the way from Western Nevada to the western foothills. Slow and difficult, and maybe even impossible, travel should be expected late Tuesday into Wednesday. Snow showers are expected to continue on Thanksgiving.
NWS says its a cold storm and snow levels will drop to all valley floors by Tuesday night which could mean accumulating snow.
The Tahoe Daily Snow is forecasting nearly 2 feet of snow around 9,000 feet in the Kirkwood, Sierra-at-Tahoe and Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows areas and 5 to 10 inches at lake level from Tuesday into Wednesday.
The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is one of the busiest travel days of the year so motorists are advised to plan accordingly.
“Anyone traveling during the Thanksgiving holiday week should anticipate chain control requirements over the Sierra passes and allow extra travel time to reach their destination,” said Caltrans District 3 spokesperson Steve Nelson. “We anticipate winter driving conditions with snow likely Tuesday and Wednesday and also a chance of snow on Thanksgiving. Motorists should always check conditions before they go, especially in the Sierra.”
Caltrans’ reminds drivers to carry chains in winter. Cars without four-wheel drive or all-wheel drive will be fined if they do not have chains on or in their cars during chain controls.
Cars usually have about a mile between “Chains Required” signs and the checkpoint to install the chains. To put on and take off the chains, pull completely off the road. Once chains are on, the required speed is 25 to 30 miles an hour.
While driving in winter conditions, drive slower than usual, even if the speed limit is higher in normal conditions, keep windshields and windows clear, keep your gas tank full, keep a distance between the car in front of you and if you stall, stay with your car.
AccuWeather.com recommends keeping a flashlight, sleeping bag, gloves, battery-powered radio, solar cell phone charger, first aid kit, a pocket knife and reflectors in your car during the winter as well as water jugs and nonperishable snacks.
Caltrans offers up-to-date driving information on quickmap.dot.ca.gov. They recommend looking at QuickMap before starting your trip.