LAKE TAHOE — The next in a series of small and very cold winter storms is forecast to sweep through the region Friday evening.
The greater Truckee/Tahoe region is under a winter storm warning from 7 p.m. Friday through 10 a.m. Saturday, according to the National Weather Service in Reno.
One to two feet of snow is expected above 7,000 feet and along Lake Tahoe’s West Shore, according to NWS, while 6 to 12 inches is possible in Truckee and along the lake’s east and south shores.
Wind gusts of 30 mph at lake level and up to 80 mph along Sierra ridges are forecast, making for dangerous driving conditions. Snow tire and chain restrictions will likely be in effect along all major highways.
The storm is part of a low pressure system from the Gulf of Alaska, according to NWS. High temperatures will be below freezing throughout the region into early next week, while lows will likely dip well below zero in Truckee Saturday and Sunday evening.
According to the North Tahoe Public Utility District, a cold spell during the 2009-10 winter resulted in more than 60 homes on the North Shore having significant water damage due to burst pipes.
Home service breaks that year showed usage in the 20,000- to 40,000-gallon range, according to a Thursday PUD press release, with several homes in the 100,000- to 200,000-gallon range.
“As you can imagine, that amount of water running through a home will cause significant damage,” said NTPUD General Manager Paul Schultz. “... If you see water running out of a neighbor’s garage, down a driveway or anywhere else you don’t typically see running water, please call your local water district.”
MORE RESORTS TO OPEN
Friday’s storm comes on the heels of a minor system that hit the region Tuesday and Wednesday, bringing anywhere from 4 to 10 inches of snow to the region’s ski resorts.
The dusting, coupled with frigid temperatures making way for around-the-clock snowmaking, will allow for several ski resorts to open in the coming days.
Sugar Bowl Resort atop Donner Summit — which received 10 inches of snow this week — will open Saturday, officials announced Wednesday, with 11 trails and 1,500 vertical feet of riding. The resort will close midweek and reopen Dec. 14.
South of Lake Tahoe, Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort will open Friday, the resort said Wednesday, offering access to the right half of Broadway Trail through the Easy Rider Express chairlift.
Diamond Peak Ski Resort in Incline Village will open next Thursday with at least three lifts and 1,840 feet of vertical skiing, resort general manager Brad Wilson said Wednesday.
Alpine Meadows — which got 7 inches of snow this week — will open Dec. 13. On the West Shore, Homewood Mountain Resort also will open Dec. 13, although officials say the resort could open earlier depending on this weekend’s storm.
Boreal, Heavenly, Kirkwood, Squaw Valley, Northstar and Mt. Rose resorts all opened earlier this year.
The American Red Cross has the following 10 tips for people to follow so they can stay safe during the deep freeze:
1. Wear layers of lightweight clothing to stay warm. Gloves and a hat will help prevent losing your body heat.
2. Bring pets indoors. If they can’t come inside, make sure they have enough shelter to keep them warm and that they can get to unfrozen water.
3. Protect your pipes. Run water, even at a trickle, to help prevent your pipes from freezing. Open the kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Keep the garage doors closed if there are water lines in the garage.
4. Keep the thermostat at the same temperature day and night. Your heating bill may be a little higher, but you could avoid a more costly repair job if your pipes freeze and burst.
5. If you are using a space heater, place it on a level, hard surface and keep anything flammable at least three feet away — things such as paper, clothing, bedding, curtains or rugs. Turn off space heaters and make sure fireplace embers are out before leaving the room or going to bed.
6. Never use a stove or oven to heat your home.
7. If you are using a fireplace, use a glass or metal fire screen large enough to catch sparks and rolling logs.
8. Use generators correctly — never operate a generator inside the home, including in the basement or garage.
9. Don’t hook a generator up to the home’s wiring. The safest thing to do is to connect the equipment you want to power directly to the outlets on the generator.
10. Download the American Red Cross First Aid App for quick, expert advice on what to do in case of an emergency. This free app is available on the Apple iTunes or Google Play stores. See all Red Cross apps at redcross.org/mobileapps.