South Lake Tahoe prepares for snow
January 15, 2010
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – The City of South Lake Tahoe is preparing to deal with the heavy snow fall that could hit in Tahoe beginning this weekend.
“City snow removal crews will be on-call and will be working around the clock as necessary to clear streets,” Public Works Director John Greenhut wrote in an email.
While earlier forecasts this week predicted up to 120 inches of snow in a series of storms starting Sunday, the National Weather Service in Reno is now predicting two to four feet in a series of three or four storms.
Two to four inches of water should come with the precipitation, and it all should come in the form of snow, rather than the rain/snow mix the area has been experiencing, said Katie LaBelle, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, as snow levels are expected to start around 5,500 feet and drop from there.
“Residents are urged to prepare for the storms by stocking up and making sure, they have plans for snow removal for their own property,” Greenhut wrote.
In the event the early storms bring rain, which results in runoff, the City has sand and bags available at Rufus Allen Corporation Yard at 1160 Rufus Allen Blvd. and at the intersection of David Lane and Ruby Lane.
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These are self-service locations and residents are encouraged to bring their own shovels.
The system is predicted to come in three or four waves, starting after 10 a.m. Sunday, according to the current forecast.
Sunday night and Monday are showing a 100 percent chance of precipitation, with lighter winds.
“Truckee Tahoe should pretty much be in the snow zone the whole time,” LaBelle said. “It’s looking like a cold week and snow levels will constantly drop.”
As pressure drops Wednesday, LaBelle said pressure-gradient winds from the southeast could be as strong as 50 miles per hour over the peaks, and 25 to 30 miles per hour at the lake.
This is all being powered by a low pressure system off the Gulf of Alaska, pushing moisture across the western United States, she said, but El Nino’s involvement is still unclear.
El Nino, the warming of the Pacific Ocean often associated with more precipitation in the area, is still strengthening, and hasn’t reached its peak, LaBelle said.
– Reporter Greyson Howard contributed to this story.