Storm, wind advisories upgraded; Several feet of snow possible through New Year’s Day

A view of Lake Tahoe Monday from Edgewood Tahoe.

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — A storm set to impact the Lake Tahoe Basin Monday night into Tuesday is the first of a series of systems expected to drop several feet of snow in the Sierra through New Year’s Day and beyond, weather officials said Monday.

The National Weather Service in Reno’s high wind and storm watches have been upgraded to warnings for the potent storm that will tap into significant moisture and hit the basin Monday night and last into Wednesday morning.

The high wind warning goes into effect at 10 p.m. Monday and lasts through 10 a.m. Tuesday for winds expected to reach up to 130 mph on Sierra ridges. Sustained southwest winds will be in the 25-35 mph range with gusts up to 65 creating rough conditions on Lake Tahoe with waves up to 6 feet.

The service warns that the strong winds could be damaging and power outages are possible.

The storm warning goes into effect at 10 a.m. Tuesday and lasts for 24 hours.

Heavy rain and snow is expected, including 4 to 10 inches at lake level and 1 to 2 feet above 7,500 feet. The storm will start off with rain before snow levels drop Tuesday afternoon.

“Heavy rain will move into the area late tonight into early Tuesday morning,” the warning said. “Impacts to higher Sierra passes such as Mount Rose Summit (SR-431) and Carson Pass (SR-88) are possible during this time with snow levels falling to all Sierra passes by Tuesday afternoon and evening.”

More active weather will follow after a relative break Wednesday night into Thursday.

The next system is poised to enter the region Thursday afternoon through Friday.

The service said another couple of feet of snow is likely above 7,000 feet with several inches down to lake level.

The next storm wave is expected Friday night through Saturday night and is looking to be quite potent with 3 to 4 inches of liquid along the Sierra crest from Tahoe southward.

“While there is still some uncertainty in how far south the third system tracks (how soon will it split), these numbers could be a bit low based on the latest track,” the service said. “Saturday could be one of those significant snow days in the Sierra and foothills with cold rainy conditions for western Nevada. Given the abundant moisture associated with this system, the snow character is likely to once again be a heavy wet one.”

The National Weather Service forecast.

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