Tahoe Basin blanketed with hazy skies

LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – The skies were hazy on Friday August 4 in the Lake Tahoe Basin and surrounding areas.

The main culprit for the diminished visibility is playa dust from the Black Rock Desert.

“Playa dust was kicked up last night by thunderstorms in the Fernley-Fallon-Stillwater area. Visibility decreased to as low as two miles in that area,” said Paul Fremeau, Atmospheric Scientist, Weather Extreme. He added it was blown towards the Basin from Northeasterly winds overnight.

While there are no fires in the immediate vicinity, the Pika Fire in Yosemite and prescribed burns in Stanislaus National Forest are also partially to blame for the haze, Femeau said.

The National Weather Service Reno said, “increasing westerly breezes this afternoon should help to improve mixing and clear the air.”

Fremeau added that despite how the skies look, air quality near the ground is good.

Isolated thunderstorms could hit the Basin Friday evening.

“Anticipate typical thunderstorm impacts including frequent lightning, localized heavy rainfall with 0.25-0.75″ under thunderstorm cores, and gusty/erratic outflow winds which could once again kick up dust,” NWS stated.

Saturday and Sunday are expected to have sunny skies.

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