Stormy weather headed to South Shore
A series of Pacific storms moving into California should provide some solace to a parched Tahoe basin, but forecasters say it may mostly be rain at lake level.
Still, the National Weather Service has decided to err on the side of caution with posting a winter storm warning alert for Friday.
“What we do know is that precipitation is imminent,” said Jim Fischer, meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Reno. “We just don’t have a handle yet on snow levels.”
At lake level, rain is expected throughout today and tomorrow, with snow above 7,000 feet.
“While things may change, we are looking at lots of rain and shots of snow (at lake level), rather than several feet of it,” said Mark Deutschendorf, meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Reno.
The reason, Deutschendorf explained, is because a tropical storm system from the south will absorb much of the cold air from the main system coming from the north. The tropical system, which was once a hurricane centered west of Hawaii, is moving inland at the same rate the cold front is moving in from the north.
The meshing of the two weather systems will bring high winds, with gusts of up to 100 mph at the ridge tops and 20 to 30 mph at lake level today and Friday. Snow is expected to fall above 7,000 feet today, with heavy rain expected throughout the day at lake level.
Temperatures should remain above freezing tonight, with more rain and snow in the higher elevations. On Friday, rain and winds will remain heavy as the second storm moves in. Toward the late afternoon, however, temperatures may begin to drop, which could bring the snow level down to about 7,000 feet, he said.
On Saturday morning, there will be brief periods of sunshine and clearing, but that should change as a third weather system comes through, bringing with it the possibility of a foot of snow at lake level.
On Sunday, it will remain mostly cloudy with some snow showers.
Highs today will be in the mid 50s, and lows in the upper 30s. On Friday, highs will be in the upper 40s, and lows in the lower 30s. On Saturday and Sunday, highs will be in the upper 30s with lows dipping to the lower 20s.
— Jeff Munson can be reached at email@example.com
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