Winter storm warning to take effect in Lake Tahoe Basin tonight

Anywhere from 1-2 feet of snow is possible above 7,000 feet between Wednesday night and Friday morning.

Forecasters are increasingly certain that an approaching winter storm is going to deliver much needed snow to the Tahoe Basin.

The National Weather Service in Reno has upgraded a winter storm watch to a winter storm warning, with heavy snow expected between 10 p.m. Wednesday and 4 a.m. Friday.

During that time, 1-3 feet of snow is possible above 7,000 feet. Lake level (elevation 6,225 feet) could see 3-6 inches of snow.

The high country could see wind gusts as strong as 60 mph, while South Lake Tahoe and Incline Village might see winds up to 25 mph.

The combination of snow and wind could cause travel issues, particularly on mountain passes. The heavy snow could cause tree limbs to snap, possibly leading to power outages.

“Avoid travel if possible, you could be stuck in your vehicle for many hours,” the weather service warns. “If you must travel, prepare for long delays and carry an emergency kit with extra food, water and clothing. If you stay home, have a backup plan in case of power outages.”

New chain requirements on Lake Tahoe-area highways in Nevada

The snow totals are great news for area resorts, including Sierra-at-Tahoe, which plans to open Friday.

Lake level and lower elevations can expect rain off and on through much of today, according to the weather service. There is a 90 percent chance of precipitation Wednesday.

Snow levels are expected around 6,500 feet, which could impact travel on Sierra passes.

Anywhere from 4-8 inches of snow is possible for Echo Pass, Mt. Rose Summit, Donner Summit and passes on Highway 395 in Mono County.

Saturday will bring another cold storm with additional snow expected through the Sierra, according to the weather service.

“Saturday morning will be the best chance to receive a few inches of accumulating snow in the low valleys of western Nevada including Reno, Carson City and Minden.”

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