Winter advisory: More than a foot of snow possible for Tahoe

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — A strong, fast-moving storm could drop more than a foot of snow on the mountains early next week at Lake Tahoe.

The National Weather Service in Reno has issued a winter weather advisory that goes into effect at 5 a.m. on Monday and lasts through 8 p.m.

The service said 2-8 inches of snow are possible at Lake Tahoe with 8-14 inches possible above 7,000 feet. Strong winds may reach near 50-60 mph with 100 mph gusts possible in the high Sierra.

“Ensemble probabilities show a 50-60% chance for 12-plus inches of snow along the Sierra Crest from Yuba Pass to Sonora Pass,” the service said. “For the Tahoe communities, snow probabilities aim for 4-8 inches with 30-40% chance of totals around 8-12 inches. … The daytime arrival and fast pace of the storm will help to limit accumulations for areas below 6,000-7,000 feet, so main travel impacts will be in the higher elevations.”

The snow combined with wind will create hazardous travel over mountain passes and may affect the Monday morning and evening commutes. Strong winds could cause power outages and tree damage.

The service is also forecasting a 20% chance of thunderstorms.

To prepare for the return to winter, secure loose outdoor items and have sufficient food, water, warm clothing and emergency supplies available.

Anyone planning travel in the Sierra Monday through early Tuesday can expect slick conditions and delays with chain controls.

The temperatures will also cool down some 30 degrees compared to last week’s near record warmth with widespread freezing conditions likely overnight Monday and Tuesday.

After a mostly sunny Sunday with highs in the mid 50s, Monday may reach into the low 40s with an overnight low about 11. Tuesday’s high will be about 38 before again dropping into the low teens overnight.

The service said by mid-week, a modest warming trend will put temps to near or slightly below seasonal averages and that another, weaker, storm will move into the region Wednesday night into Thursday bringing breezy winds and mountain snow.

Unsettled conditions are expected through Saturday with a return to spring-like conditions possibly by Easter.

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