Start of winter storm delayed; snow totals downgraded for Lake Tahoe | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Start of winter storm delayed; snow totals downgraded for Lake Tahoe

The first day of spring was by overcast skies and rainfall on South Shore on Tuesday afternoon, March 20.

A winter storm expected to hit Lake Tahoe later today will likely bring more rain than snow.

Despite the decreased snow totals, the National Weather Service in Reno has upgraded what was a winter storm watch to a winter weather advisory.

The advisory is set to take effect at 10 p.m. today, which is a change from the anticipated 10 a.m. start previously reported. The advisory will expire at noon Thursday.

While the weather service initially predicted as much as 10 inches of snow at lake level and up to 3 feet of snow above 7,000 feet, both numbers have been downgraded.

Lake level now could see 2-5 inches of snow during the advisory and 1-2 feet of snow might accumulate above 7,000 feet.

Showers begin Tuesday but due to more warm sub-tropical moisture than cold air, precipitation will likely fall as rain at lake level.

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"There is a chance that snow levels could drop to lake level tonight, it will be close, but would most likely be just a few inches of heavy wet snow that would likely melt during the day with warmer daytime air temps and additional rainfall," according to the weather service.

There is an 80 percent chance of precipitation on South Shore Tuesday and a 70 percent chance in Incline Village.

Peak snowfall is expected Wednesday. The lake will see a 100 percent chance of precipitation.

"Snow levels will begin to drop again on Wednesday night when chances for snow accumulation of a couple inches of snow between 5500 and 6500 feet will again be possible."

High temperatures at the lake through Thursday are expected to range from 36-39 degrees Fahrenheit.

A colder system is expected Friday, but the weather service says any snowfall is not expected to last long.

"A colder airmass Friday increases chances for snow showers for all elevations but risk of heavy snows is low as this part of the storm will be short lived."

Strong winds of 45 mph are expected during the storm. Gusts over the ridge could be as strong as 80 mph.

“Expect snow covered roads and limited visibilities, and use caution while driving.”