Storm about to hit Tahoe may ‘be remembered for years to come’

A view Saturday morning from Heavenly Mountain Resort.

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — A cold, winter storm expected to hit Lake Tahoe Saturday night might be “remembered for years to come,” officials said Saturday morning.

Today is the final day for basin residents to get ready for a multi-day winter storm that could drop up to 8 feet of snow in the Sierra.

The National Weather Service in Reno on Saturday morning upgraded to a winter storm warning and have adjusted snow amounts to account for higher accumulation in and around the basin. The warning goes into effect at 10 p.m. Saturday and lasts through 10 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 14.

The service is expecting 2 to 4 feet of snow at lake level and 4 to 8 feet above 7,000 feet. Wind will also be strong with gusts up to 50 mph and possibly more than 100 mph on Sierra ridges. Conditions on Lake Tahoe will be hazardous with waves up to 3 feet.

“If you live in the Sierra, today is the final day to prepare for a multi-day winter storm that will likely be remembered for years to come,” said the service.

Traveling to, or from Tahoe, is expected to be difficult to near impossible starting Sunday morning.

The service said peak intensity snow rates could reach 1 to 3 inches per hour Sunday night through Tuesday.

The service’s probabilities for snow totals include 75-95% for the basin to receive 1-3-plus feet and 70% for the Sierra crest to receive 6-plus feet of snow.

The latest road conditions can be obtained by calling 511 or by visiting

After digging out Wednesday morning, officials say another winter storm is trending stronger and will possibly impact the basin by midday and last through Thursday evening.

The service said an additional 1 to 2 feet is possible if current projections hold together.

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