Snow predicted today
Last weekend Lake Tahoe residents got their first real taste of winter. Weather forecasters predict a return showing today.
Steve Brown, chief meteorologist at the National Weather Service’s Reno office, said the basin should accumulate a couple of inches of snow at the lake level and more up on the peaks today with snow showers lingering into Wednesday.
Luckily, today’s storm shouldn’t bring the high winds that left many residents without power this weekend. Karl Walquist, Sierra Pacific Power spokesman, said high winds around noon on Saturday toppled trees onto power lines plunging 5,300 customers from the “Y” to Meyers into the dark. Most customers had power back within an hour, but about 100 had no power until early Sunday morning.
“We do seem to have more problems with high winds than other weather problems. High winds can be rough,” Walquist said.
Power crews worked through the night Saturday, and on Sunday a Fallon crew was called to help out. Trees near Baldwin Beach and Tahoe Valley caused the outages, Walquist said. South Tahoe Public Utility District lost power and was forced to run with a backup generator. About 30 customers around the Emerald Bay area lost power, and on the Nevada side of the lake 2,200 Glenbrook customers lost power for about 15 minutes Saturday afternoon. A tree falling on a power line on the North Shore left 600 people in Alpine Meadows without power for close to three hours, Walquist added.
Other than high winds this year’s predicted La Nina system shouldn’t have the disastrous effects of last year’s El Nino, according to the National Weather Service.
Brown said the La Nina system should bring winter storm systems originating out of a more northwest or northerly direction with more cold air. Unlike her warmer wet brother, La Nina will generate near normal precipitation for the Lake Tahoe Basin with snow levels a little lower than usual leaving more snow at the lake level, Brown said.
Brown said the cooler air masses generated by La Nina are also generally better for snowmaking and creating powder.
“El Nino brought in heavy rains, flooding. La Nina is more towards normal precipitation with emphasize on colder temperatures,” Brown said.
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