Lake Tahoe weather: Atmospheric river could cause flooding in Tahoe Basin |

Lake Tahoe weather: Atmospheric river could cause flooding in Tahoe Basin

Flooding occurred in South Lake Tahoe in January 2017.
South Lake Tahoe Fire Rescue via Twitter

A warm spring storm expected to arrive Friday could cause flooding in the Lake Tahoe Basin and surrounding valleys.

Heavy rain will move into the region Friday evening and continue into Saturday, according to the National Weather Service. A flood watch is slated to take effect at 5 p.m. Friday.

Snow levels could rise as high as 11,000 feet. Anywhere from 2 to 4 inches of rain could fall along the Sierra crest, with 2.0 to 2.5 inches in the Tahoe Basin, and 1 to 1.5 inches in the Sierra foothills.

The weather service warns the downpour — the result of what’s known as an atmospheric river — could cause a rapid rise on creeks and streams. Flooding in areas of poor drainage could pose driving hazards.

“If you are driving around the region, reduce speed to prevent hydroplaning on water covered roads,” the service warns.

The city of South Lake Tahoe issued a reminder that sand and sand bags are available at the public works yard located at 1160 Rufus Allen Blvd., and at South Lake Tahoe Fire Rescue Station #3 at 2101 Lake Tahoe Blvd.

Along with rain, the storm will bring strong winds Friday night and Saturday, with gusts of 40 to 60 mph possible.

Snow is possible at higher elevations toward the end of the storm, according to the weather service. Snow levels will fall below 7,000 feet Saturday evening, opening the door for “a few inches of wet snow” in the Sierra.

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