Lake Tahoe weather: South Shore schools open Wednesday (update) |

Lake Tahoe weather: South Shore schools open Wednesday (update)

TIPS TO PREVENT FROZEN PIPES The following tips were shared on Facebook via South Lake Tahoe Fire Rescue. Here are some simple tips to help with frozen pipes: Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage. Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children.
When the weather is very cold outside, let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe - even at a trickle - helps prevent pipes from freezing. Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night. By temporarily suspending the use of lower nighttime temperatures, you may incur a higher heating bill, but you can prevent a much more costly repair job if pipes freeze and burst. If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.


Lake Tahoe Unified School District, which was closed Monday and Tuesday, will open Wednesday, the district announced on its website.

The district cited an inability by buses to navigate local streets in the city of South Lake Tahoe and El Dorado County on Tuesday — a day in which Douglas County School District’s schools at the lake reopened.

Those schools, George Whittell High School and Zephyr Cove Elementary School, remain open Wednesday.


Lake Tahoe Unified School District will be closed for a second day in a row, while schools on the Nevada side of the South Shore will open Tuesday, both districts announced on their websites.

LTUSD cited “narrow, unsafe, un-navigable bus routes” in South Lake Tahoe and El Dorado County as the main reason for Tuesday’s closure.

In Nevada, Douglas County School District stated George Whittell High School (GWHS) and Zephyr Cove Elementary School (ZCES) will both open Tuesday. School buses will stop at only main bus stops for those schools. These stops are designated as:

The corner of Tina Court and Ski Court for students living in the Tramway and Kingsbury Village area:

GWHS – Bus will arrive at 6:40 a.m. and depart at 7:05 a.m.
ZCES – Bus will arrive at 7:57 a.m. and depart at 8:20 a.m.

Glenbrook area will board at the entrance to Glenbrook
GWHS – Bus will arrive at 6:32 a.m.
ZCES – Bus will arrive at 7:36 a.m.

Parents are responsible for delivering students to the main bus stops in the morning and picking them up from the same stop in the afternoon, according to the district.

UPDATE 7:25 a.m.

City of South Lake Tahoe administrative offices are closed Monday due to severe weather and hazardous driving conditions, according to a post on the city’s Facebook page. The message states that the city anticipates reopening administrative offices at 8 a.m. Tuesday.

UPDATE 7 a.m.

A collapsed roof, minor avalanche, and road and school closures are just some of the impacts from the last of three winter storms that pummeled the Tahoe Basin over the past five days.

A backcountry avalanche warning remains in effect for the Sierra Nevada, including the entire Tahoe Basin, through Monday morning, while another inch of snow could accumulate on the South Shore.

Highway 89 between Tahoe City and Alpine Meadows in Placer County closed early Monday morning following a minor avalanche at 2:30 a.m. The road remains closed but a detour is available, according to the California Department of Transportation.

California Highway Patrol in Truckee reported that two cars were caught in the slide’s path but no one was injured. The slide was 200 feet across and 12 feet high at its termination point, according to CHP.

The heavy snow load from the past five days caused the roof of a liquor store in South Lake Tahoe to collapse Sunday night. The building, located on Harrison Avenue, is likely a total loss, according to the city.

South Lake Tahoe Fire Rescue evacuated surrounding buildings, including the nearby Sierra Veterinary Hospital, in order to inspect the buildings.

The city reissued a reminder about the importance of clearing snow from roofs if possible. Older buildings, building with flat roofs and those receiving heavy amounts of accumulation should be of high priority.

With a break in the storms expected this week, it would be an ideal time for clearing snow from roofs, particularly from older buildings. The city also urged caution, recommending that people should, if possible, hire professionals who have the right equipment.

After a day of temporary closures starting at noon Sunday, the Tahoe Transportation District announced it expected limited operations Monday.

“Depending on conditions, TTD will add routes throughout the day with full service expected on Tuesday, January 24. The safe operation of public transit is TTD’s top priority,” read a message on TTD’s Facebook page.

On Monday morning, the district said route 50 is operating, while routes 19x and 20x are operating with delays. Riders are instructed to use the Swiftly app to check times.


Add Douglas County Schools in Zephyr Cove and Lake Tahoe Community College to the list of closures resulting from heavy snowfall in the Tahoe Basin.

The college, George Whittell High School and Zephyr Cove Elementary School are both closed today as a result of a winter storm that has dumped more than 3 feet of snow in the mountains in three days.

They join Lake Tahoe Unified School district, which announced on Sunday afternoon that it would be closed Monday.

Off the hill, Douglas County School District schools in the Carson Valley will open two hours later than normal. Parents should expect buses to pick up students two hours later than their normal pick-up time. Students will return home at their regularly scheduled time. 

UPDATE 4 p.m.

With snow continuing to fall in the region, Lake Tahoe Unified School District will be closed Monday.

The district made the announcement online just before to 2 p.m.

“The safety of our students and staff are of the utmost concern,” read the announcement. “With the continuing abundance of snow this weekend and in the past couple weeks; school sites, school bus routes, city and county roads are too narrow to safely negotiate in our school buses.”


With the biggest impacts of this latest January winter storm expected to occur Sunday, the National Weather Service has issued a backcountry avalanche warning for the greater Tahoe region.

The warning, for all Sierra elevations, will last until “at least Monday morning.”

“Due to heavy snow, intense snowfall rates and gale force winds, human-triggered wind slab avalanches and storm slab avalanches will be very likely,” according to NWS. “Some avalanches could be large, deep and destructive. Travel in or near avalanche terrain or in the runout zones of avalanches paths is not recommended.”

Meanwhile, a winter storm warning remains in effect for the region until 4 a.m. Monday. Moderate to heavy snow could fall until then with NWS forecasting 16 to 26 inches of new snow in South Lake Tahoe.

The Tahoe Transportation District announced Sunday morning that it would suspend all transit service, including ski shuttles demand response services and express and local routes at noon due to current and expected weather and road conditions. TTD will continue to assess conditions.

Sierra-at-Tahoe, which reported 29 inches of new snow Saturday evening, closed for the day Sunday due to unsafe and blizzard conditions. Kirkwood Mountain reported 30 inches of new snow in 48 hours Sunday morning.

The resort is under limited operation because all roads to the mountain are currently closed, according to a press release. They may open later in the day.

Heavenly Mountain Resort reported 34 inches of new snow in 48 hours. Heavenly Tweeted shortly after 10:30 a.m. that the mountain was closing for the day due to heavy snow and wind.


South Shore ski resorts reported as much as 2 feet of snow in 24 hours Saturday morning as a winter storm warning remains in effect in the Tahoe Basin.

Sierra-at-Tahoe and Kirkwood Mountain reported 2 feet of snow, while Heavenly Mountain Resort reported 18 inches of snow.

A winter storm warning remains in effect until 4 a.m. Monday. According to an advisory issued by the National Weather Service just before 5 a.m. Saturday, snow accumulation between now and Monday morning could range between 3 and 6 feet above 7,000 feet while lake level could see 2 to 4 feet of new snow.

Wind gusts at lower elevations could be as strong as 40 mph. Sierra ridge winds are expected to increase from 70 mph to 100 mph on Sunday.

The NWS recommends avoiding travel if possible.

UPDATE 9 a.m.

Ski resorts off Lake Tahoe’s South Shore received 17 inches of new snow within 24 hours.

Both Sierra-at-Tahoe and Kirkwood Mountain reported 17 inches Friday morning, while Heavenly Mountain Resort reported 16 inches.

The totals come as the second of three storms continues to dump snow in the region. Another 2 to 4 feet of snow is expected to fall at lake level over the weekend in the Sierras, according to the National Weather Service.

The Sierra Avalanche Center warned that avalanche danger is considerable throughout the forecast area.

“Conservative decision making and terrain choices are critical today,” the center warns.


Lake Tahoe’s South Shore schools on the Nevada side of the stateline are closed Friday.

Douglas County School District posted on its website that Friday is a snow day for all lake schools, which include George Whittell High School and Zephyr Cove Elementary School.

On the other side of the stateline, Lake Tahoe Unified School District posted on its website at 5 a.m. that all schools will open Friday.

Schools in the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District are closed Friday, while the three public schools at the lake in Incline Village are on a 2-hour delay Friday morning.

After a day of traffic holds on U.S. 50 west of Meyers for avalanche control, traffic is open Friday morning. Chains are required on vehicles, except four-wheel drive vehicles with snow tires on all four wheels, from Pollock Pines to 3 miles east of Pollock Pines and from 1.5 miles west of Kyburz to Meyers.

Visit the California Department of Transportation’s website for up-to-date road conditions.


Although snow showers are likely in the Tahoe Basin Thursday, the storm may signal a break from winter storms that could bring a foot of snow at lake level this weekend.

A current winter weather advisory is set to expire at 10 a.m. — marking a break before another winter weather advisory takes effect at 4 a.m. Friday.

“Moderate snow will continue through early this morning before tapering to showers by early afternoon,” according to a statement from the National Weather Service. “The next wave of heavy snowfall will begin early Friday morning into Saturday morning.”

Thursday could see total daytime snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches. Winds are expected to range from 15 to 20 mph.

Snow accumulation Friday into Saturday could total 12 to 18 inches above 7,000 feet, while lake level could see 6 to 12 inches.

The first in a series of storms entered the area Wednesday with rain and wet snow at lake level on the South Shore.

Sierra-at-Tahoe recorded 7 inches of snow overnight and 15 inches in 24 hours, according to its website. Heavenly Mountain Resort received 6 to 8 inches of new snow while Kirkwood Mountain received around 1 foot of new snow.

On U.S. 50, chains are required on all vehicles, except four-wheel drive vehicles with snow tires on all four wheels, from 9 miles east of Placerville to Meyers.

Highway 89 over Emerald Bay remains closed this week.

Liberty Utilities reported seven affected customers in El Dorado County and 41 impacted customers in Placer County as of 7 a.m.

The Tribune will continue to update this story throughout the duration of the storm.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around the Lake Tahoe Basin and beyond make the Tahoe Tribune's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.

For tax deductible donations, click here.

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User