Public safety outage watch issued for Lake Tahoe

Kurt Hildebrand / The Record-Courier
NV Energy contractors work on a pole in Genoa on Oct. 15.
Kurt Hildebrand/The Record-Courier

Residents of Lake Tahoe and those living along the Carson Valley foothills should be prepared for the possibility that high winds will lead to a power outage on Friday night.

NV Energy on Thursday issued a public safety outage watch that says the outage could occur between 9 p.m. and 1 a.m. with it ending at around 3 p.m. due to high winds in the forecast.

A fire weather watch has been issued by the National Weather Service starting 11 p.m. Friday and lasting until 8 a.m. Saturday.

Winds are forecast to gust to 40 mph, with sustained winds around 25 mph as a strong cold front arrives in the basin and Western Nevada.

More concerning for Kingsbury residents are possible strong ridgetop winds of 80-100 mph that could knock trees into power lines.

Strong winds of around 50 mph plus are expected to spread into the Western Nevada foothills, dropping to 25-40 mph as the day progresses.

Public safety outages are designed to prevent power infrastructure from causing fires during the fire weather watch that will see low humidity.

“Strong winds of this magnitude can cause fire to rapidly grow in size and intensity before first responders can contain them,” forecasters said. “Avoid outdoor activities that can cause a spark near dry vegetation, such as yard work, target shooting, or campfires.”

On the other side of the front, temperatures are expected to drop 15-25 degrees on Saturday with widespread freezes.

The Weather Service has issued a freeze watch for Saturday night through Sunday morning with lows forecast to hit 21 degrees on Sunday night.

Rain and snow is forecast for Saturday with the possibility of Lake effect snows downwind from Lake Tahoe, especially after the recent warm temperatures. There’s a possibility of 2-5 inches of snow falling above 7,000 feet, which will affect the passes on Sunday night.

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