Weather service: ‘Life threatening situation’ at Lake Tahoe; blizzard warning in effect

The view from South Shore on Monday morning.
Tahoe South

Schools are closed, snow is stacking up and officials are urging people to remain indoors as a winter storm continues to hammer the Lake Tahoe region.

The National Weather Service in Reno has issued a blizzard warning until 10 p.m. Monday. Winds could be as strong as 50 mph, with gusts over Sierra ridges expected to exceed 100 mph.

Heavy snow is in the forecast through the day into Monday evening.

Officials are urging people to avoid travel and stay inside.

“This is a life threatening situation,” the weather service reports. “Do not attempt to travel! Road crews and first responders may not be able to rescue you. Stay indoors until the snow and wind subside. Even a short walk could be deadly if you become disoriented.”

Schools on South Shore and in Incline Village are closed for the day, as are some government offices. City of South Lake Tahoe offices will be open today.

The storm is impacting road conditions around the lake, with chain controls in effect on area highways. Avalanche control caused a brief traffic hold on U.S. 50 near Echo Summit Monday morning.

A winter storm warning is set to remain in effect until 4 p.m. Tuesday.

The storm, which has delivered over 4 feet of snow to some area ski resorts, could bring an additional 2 to 4 feet of snow at lake level and 3 to 6 feet of snow above 7,000 feet, according to the weather service. Snow drifts could be deeper than 10 feet.

The Sierra Avalanche Center has issued an avalanche warning through 7 a.m. Tuesday. Travel in avalanche terrain is not recommended.

“Widespread avalanche activity is likely in the mountains. Natural avalanches are likely and human-triggered avalanches are very likely. Some avalanches may be large and destructive.”

The storm is expected to move out of the area Tuesday night. Several days of sunny conditions are expected before a chance of snow returns Friday, according to the weather service.

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