Rising thunderstorm chances ahead of another heat wave at Lake Tahoe

A view Wednesday morning of Lake Tahoe from Diamond Peak Ski Resort in Incline Village. (Provided by

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, CALIF. — The chances for scattered rain showers and thunderstorms have risen ahead of another expected record-breaking heat wave at Lake Tahoe.

The National Weather Service in Reno on Wednesday morning issued a special weather statement that calls for a higher chance of thunderstorms, especially on Thursday, before the thermometer rises for the weekend.

The service said a meandering low pressure over the region will help increase thunderstorm chances through the work week followed by an expansive high pressure build-up that will lead to potentially record-setting temperatures.

Thunderstorms are possible Wednesday afternoon with a 20% chance of precipitation. The high will reach into the mid 70s with wind ranging from 10-15 mph.

The service said Thursday, has the makings of a more widespread thunderstorm day for much of the Sierra and Western Nevada. Moisture levels increase such that locally heavy rain and flooding is possible from slow moving storms.

Thunderstorms are expected after 11 a.m. with a 50% chance of rain and a light wind of about 5 mph. The high is expected to reach into the 70s.

“Anyone with outdoor plans for the next few days, but especially Thursday, should monitor the forecast, try to do outdoor activities in the morning, and have a ‘Plan B’ in case storms threaten,” the service said in the statement. “Given how dry vegetation is, new fires from lightning are possible. Also expect strong outflow winds, rapid temperature drops, and even some hail with these storms.”

After the storms, all attention will then focus on what could be a major heat wave starting Sunday and lasting much of next week.

The service said to expect triple digit highs for Western Nevada with highs in the 80s to 90s for mountain communities.

“These could eclipse records Sunday through Wednesday,” the statement said. “Confidence is high in heat health impacts especially for those outdoors for extended periods of time, and for vulnerable populations such as the elderly and homeless.”

The temperature begins to rise on Friday to the mid 70s with light wind.

In the more extended forecast, the high temperature is expected to reach 80 on Saturday and then mid 80s on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.

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