Lake Tahoe weather: Winter weather advisory in effect through Saturday morning |

Lake Tahoe weather: Winter weather advisory in effect through Saturday morning

Heavenly Mountain Resort reported 4 inches of new snow Wednesday morning.
Courtesy Sarah Ackerson / Heavenly Mountain Resort |

A winter storm moving into the area could dump as much as 18 inches of snow above elevations of 7,000, according to a winter weather advisory issued by the National Weather Service in Reno.

The advisory is in effect from 7 a.m. Friday to 4 a.m. Saturday. Elevations below 7,000 feet could see up to 6 inches of snow during that time frame. with the heaviest snow falling along and west of California State Route 89.

“Snow will spread into the Tahoe Basin early this morning and continue through tonight,” according to NWS. “The most intense snowfall will occur in the afternoon and evening.”Snow levels will start at lake level before rising to 6,500 feet during the day. It will fall back to lake level Friday evening.”Snow and gusty winds will impact Sierra passes today. Snow will then begin to impact roads at lower elevations late today and tonight,” NWS warns. “Lake water will be rough and choppy.”

This recent storm comes after a brief break from rain and snow earlier this week. At lake level, the precipitation fell as rain or snow that quickly melted. The Lake Tahoe Airport recorded more than an inch of rain between Monday morning and Wednesday afternoon, according to NWS.

As of noon Thursday the water level at Lake Tahoe stood at 6,227.04 feet — a little more than 2 feet shy of the limit legally permitted, which is 6,229.1 feet.

Lake Tahoe started spilling water on Feb. 23, the earliest since 2006, and current forecasts call for it to reach capacity near the end of July, federal water master Chad Blanchard told the Associated Press earlier this week.

“We don’t want to fill it too early and have to pass a lot of water,” he said Tuesday. “We are trying to get ahead of it and make some releases ahead of time and try to get out the volume of water in the snowpack that we don’t have room for.”

While those at lake level saw a fair amount of rain, Tahoe-area ski resorts received a fresh dusting of powder on top of already impressive season snow totals. Sierra-at-Tahoe reported 15 inches in seven days, pushing its season total past 550 inches.

Kirkwood Mountain reported 18 inches in seven days and Heavenly Mountain Resort recorded 9 inches over the same time period. Both resorts cracked the 600-inch mark on the season in early March.

With roughly a month left before they close for the season, area resorts are touting the new snow in preparation for a wave of spring break skiers and riders, while also looking forward to next season.

Sierra-at-Tahoe’s “Certified Unserious” unlimited season pass went on sale Wednesday for $329 — a deal that will allow purchasers to ski the remainder of the current season for free. Buyers also get free skiing at 13 other Powder Alliance resorts in 2017-18 with the pass.

In detailing how to keep the “stoke” up for 2017-18, Vail Resorts announced that any visitors who turns in his or her ticket the same day will receive the same amount off a season pass when paid off in full.

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