Winter storm watch issued for Tahoe; More than a foot of snow possible

A view Friday morning from Diamond Peak Ski Resort. <em id="emphasis-3f9b2df41425b0758410218aed4b3c91">Provided /</em>

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — A storm headed to the Lake Tahoe Basin this weekend will bring gusty winds, rain and heavy snow that will impact mountain travel.

The National Weather Service in Reno issued a special statement, a winter storm watch on Thursday and a lake wind advisory on Friday for a late season storm that will move into the area Saturday afternoon and will bring colder temperatures more typical of February.

The winter storm watch is in effect from 3 a.m. Sunday until 5 a.m. Monday and the wind advisory is from 5 a.m. Saturday through 3 a.m. Sunday.

The service is expecting a good amount of moisture late Saturday night into Sunday and possibly Monday. For the Tahoe Basin 4 inches of snow is possible at lake level with 6 to 10 inches above 7,000 feet and 12 to 18 inches along the Sierra Crest.

The service said the Sunday evening as well as Monday morning commutes may be impacted.

“Anyone with travel plans, especially over the mountains, should keep a close eye on the forecast and make sure your vehicle is still winter-ready,” the service in the statement. “There is potential for significant, but not drought busting, moisture with this storm. Sierra passes could experience periods of heavy, wet snows late Saturday night into Sunday and Monday with possible travel impacts and chain controls especially at night.”

Widespread gusty winds are forecast Saturday into Sunday that could cause hazardous conditions for aviation, travel in the valleys, rough lake conditions and localized fire weather concerns in lower elevation dry vegetation.

Southwest winds are expected to be in the 20-30 mph range with gusts up to 45 mph. Waves on the lake are expected to be between 2-4 feet which will wreak havoc for small boats, kayaks and paddle boards. The strong winds could cause tree damage and power outages.

The storm system exits the region on Monday with a few lingering light showers possible into Tuesday.

Colder temperatures are expected on Monday behind the front, with highs in the 50s for western Nevada and 40s in the Sierra valleys.

A ridge will build back over California and Nevada Tuesday through the end of the week and temperatures will begin a warming trend to near or above average.

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