Snow, wind continue today: 12 to 18 inches expected at lake level |

Snow, wind continue today: 12 to 18 inches expected at lake level

Jeff Munson

Heavy snow and wind will move into the Lake Tahoe Basin this morning, bringing more snowpack to the mountains and more water to fill the lake this summer.

The system appears stronger than the one that came and went over the weekend, and is expected to dump between 12 to 18 inches at lake level and 2 to 3 feet above 7,000 feet. The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning on Monday which will expire tonight at 10 p.m.

The weekend storm brought about 15 inches at lake level and around 2 feet above 7,000 feet, said Gina Beninato, forecaster for the Reno-based weather service..

The heaviest snow period will likely happen this morning, between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. and will include wind gusts from 40 at lake level with 100 mph gusts over the ridges, Beninato said.

“We could see wind gusts in excess of 40 mph at lake level making driving conditions hazardous,” she said.

Snow will make it down to Reno and Carson City, with about 2 inches expected. A weaker weather system should arrive on Wednesday, which may drop several inches, she added.

Meanwhile, the weekend’s snow put the expected runoff at lake level above normal, according to the weather service’s hydrologist. As of Monday, the snow water equivalent for Lake Tahoe is 123 percent of normal, up 12 percent from March 1, said hydrologist Gary Barbato.

“We’re back to where we were from a few weeks ago when we had a tremendous amount of snowmelt,” he said.

With what has dropped, Lake Tahoe could rise anywhere from 1-1/2 to 2 feet during the peak runoff period, which occurs in late June or early July, Barbato said.

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