Quick-hitting storm could drop a foot of snow at Tahoe; Frigid temps to follow

A view of Lake Tahoe and the South Shore on a sunny Wednesday, Jan. 25, from D.L. Bliss State Park.

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — A quick-hitting storm to cap the weekend at Lake Tahoe will bring gusty winds, up to a foot of snow and possible sub-zero temperatures.

Ahead of the snow, southwest winds will increase Saturday night into Sunday morning. Winds will gust up to 30 mph and up to 80 mph on Sierra ridge tops which may result in some mountain recreational impacts, the National Weather Service said in a special statement.

Conditions on Lake Tahoe will be rough, especially for smaller boats and kayaks.

Snow is expected to start falling early Sunday and the cold nature of the storm will likely bring snowfall to all elevations.

“While snow accumulations are expected to be light by Sierra standards, winter driving conditions along with associated delays could impact mountain travel on Sunday,” the statement said.

Snow showers could also impact portions of western Nevada, including the valleys of Reno/Sparks/Carson. These impacts could extend into the Monday morning commute. 

For current road conditions, call 511 or visit or

Snow accumulation could reach up to a foot along the Sierra crest while the Tahoe Basin will likely receive 3-6 inches, the service said. Western Nevada valleys may see up to an inch with some areas only seeing flurries.

As the system passes, winds will shift to a northerly flow bringing frigid air.

The service said Monday is likely to be the coldest day, with overnight temps dropping into the low single digits and “isolated sub-zero temperatures in western Nevada and well below zero temperatures in Sierra valleys.”

The high temp on Sunday will struggle to get into the 30s and will drop to the low single digits overnight into Monday.

After a high in the low 20s on Monday, the temps will drop even further with minus-3 in the South Lake Tahoe forecast.

The high on Tuesday will again be in the 20s with the overnight low in the low single digits.

While cold, the frigid temps won’t get near records for those dates, Monday and Tuesday, Jan. 30-31, minus-13 set in 1972 and minus-16 set in 1969, respectively.

In Tahoe City, records for those dates, minus-15 and minus-14, were set more than a century ago in 1916, according to weather service data.

Temps look to recover on Wednesday with a high of 40 in the forecast.

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