Lake Tahoe weather: Flood warning in effect as heavy rains hammer region
TRUCKEE, Calif. — A flood warning will be in effect for the greater Truckee-Tahoe and regional valley areas from 6:45 a.m. to 6:45 p.m. Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service in Reno.
According to NWS, up to 2 inches of rain had already fallen by 6:45 a.m. Tuesday across the Lake Tahoe Basin and eastern Alpine County, and mud slides have already occurred along the west shore of Lake Tahoe.
“The greatest threat for flooding is near creeks, streams and urban areas,” according to NWS. “Rock and mud slides are likely to occur near steep terrain. Motorists commuting (Tuesday) morning should slow down and be prepared for ponding of water on roads.”
Locations that could experience minor flooding include, according to NWS, the following: South Lake Tahoe, Alpine Meadows, Squaw Valley, Tahoe City, Kings Beach, Emerald Bay, Sugar Pine Point, D.L. Bliss State Park, Meyers, Grover Hot Springs, Carnelian Bay, Woodfords and Truckee.
On Monday, NWS reported that while the Truckee River’s level will rise, it’s not expected to breach flood stage this week.
Tuesday’s warning marks the latest development in another atmospheric river storm to hit the Lake Tahoe region; while some snow fell Sunday night, snow levels have risen since Monday morning to above 7,000 and 8,000 feet, creating rainy and dreary conditions at lake level and above.
The storm conditions forced the Washoe County School District to implement a 2-hour delay Tuesday morning for Incline Village schools.
Rainy and/or snowy conditions, meanwhile, are expected into the weekend at Lake Tahoe.
“To say there is some moisture coming our way today would be an understatement,” according to the NWS long-term forecast discussion for the region, adding that conditions as of Tuesday morning have “now put this atmospheric river in the moderate to strong category.”
The moisture plume from the AR is currently wider than the Sierra is long. The strongest moisture transport is expected to shift south slightly through the day, being aimed from the Tahoe Basin into Mono County by late afternoon,” according to NWS. “Then the AR plume is expected to weaken and narrow. Late tonight the narrower plume will move north reaching northern California tomorrow evening before the next storm Wednesday night into Thursday strengthens the plume and moves it back into the Sierra.”
Per NWS, the next waves of storms on Thursday-Friday will put snow levels above 6,500 feet to start, then higher as the weekend nears.
The rain that comes with it “will likely produce another round of rises on area creeks and rivers, aggravating flood risk in the poor drainage areas already impacted from the early week storms,” officials said.