Tahoe ski resorts report more than 2 feet new of snow; storm advisory ends today
The winter storm that has pounded the Lake Tahoe region and Sierra Range the past three days, dumping more than 2 feet of snow in 24 hours, is expected to taper off Thursday morning.
The National Weather Service in Reno reported shortly after 3 a.m. Thursday that the current winter storm warning will remain in effect until 10 a.m., with snow gradually diminishing through the morning.
Ski resorts around the lake reported anywhere form 15 inches to 2 ½ feet of new snow in the past 24 hours. Heavenly Mountain Resort reported 30 inches in 24 hours Thursday morning. North Shore resorts Squaw Valley Resort reported 23 inches and Northstar California reported 29 inches.
An additional 1 to 4 inches of snow is expected below 7,000 feet, while elevations greater than that could see 3 to 6 inches of new snow. Spotty snow showers will likely persist through the day.
NWS warns that travel conditions are dangerous in some locations, including on mountain passes where whiteout conditions are occurring.
The storm led the California Department of Transportation to issue a warning Wednesday about the impact on mountain travelers.
“U.S. Highway 50 over Echo Summit is open, but traffic may be held intermittently during the storm for avalanche control,” Caltrans reported.
Traffic on U.S. 50 was being held at Twin Bridges because of a downed tree, Caltrans reported at 7:20 a.m.Chain controls are still in effect between Meyers and Kyburz.
In South Lake Tahoe, the combination of rain and snow Wednesday caused flooding on some roadways.
Meanwhile, the Sierra Avalanche Center’s avalanche warning for the Tahoe Basin, which did not apply to ski areas or mountain corridors where avalanche mitigation programs exist, expired at 7 a.m. Thursday.
While the storms are expected to let up Thursday and Friday, rain is expected to roll into the region below elevations of 9,000 feet Saturday. The forecast led NWS to issue a flood warning that will take effect Saturday night and last through Monday morning.
According to NWS, an atmospheric river is expected to cause intense rain, with snow levels rising as high as 9,000 feet early Sunday morning to Monday morning. Totals could range from 6 to 12 inches of rainfall around the Tahoe Basin.
The rain on already saturated soil could cause excessive runoff and the snowfall that is expected to continue through Thursday morning could block drainage paths, causing additional issues.