Strongs winds, cold temps and some snow in weekend forecast for Lake Tahoe

A view of Lake Tahoe Wednesday morning from Diamond Peak Ski Resort in Incline Village.

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — Officials are calling for significant changes to the weather pattern starting this weekend as a strong cold front, gusty winds and rain and snow enter the Lake Tahoe Basin.

The National Weather Service in Reno issued a special statement on Wednesday calling for a precipitous temperature drop, winds that could reach up to 90 mph on Sierra ridges and a couple inches of snow for mountain passes.

The service said southwest winds will begin to increase Friday afternoon with the strongest winds expected Friday night into Saturday. Widespread gusts of 30-40 mph are possible in the valleys with up to 50 mph in wind prone locations.

Possible impacts from winds include: travel restrictions due to cross winds (particularly for high profile vehicles), aviation turbulence/shear, hazardous boating conditions, and areas of blowing dust downstream of dry lake beds.

The service said precipitation is expected mid-morning Saturday through the evening with periods of light-to-moderate rainfall for the valleys with up to 2 inches of snow possible across Sierra passes Saturday night into early Sunday morning with snow levels crashing to about 5-6,000 feet.

“Only an inch or two of snowfall can still result in travel hazards and slow downs across the passes,” the statement said. “Be sure to check with Caltrans and NDOT for the latest road conditions.”

After enjoying above seasonal average conditions for a couple of weeks, the temperatures will plummet 15 to 25 degrees over the weekend. Widespread freezes are possible (80% chance) across all western Nevada valleys Saturday night into Sunday morning with Sierra valleys plummeting into the teens and 20s overnight.

The highs in the lower-to-mid 70s this week will drop to the low 50s on Saturday and Sunday. After the weekend, temps are expected to remain in the mid-to-high 50s on Monday and Tuesday.

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