Lake Tahoe weather: Winter storm warning begins Wednesday |
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Lake Tahoe weather: Winter storm warning begins Wednesday

UPDATE: 8 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 29:

The National Weather Service has upgraded this week's forecast to a winter storm warning for the greater Truckee/Tahoe region, effective 10 p.m. today through 4 a.m. Friday, Jan. 31.

According to NWS, snow levels of 1-2 feet are expected in higher elevations, with the chance for 6 inches at lake level. It should begin snowing up top later today, reaching 7,000 feet by midnight at lake level by daybreak Thursday.

Moderate to heavy rains are expected as well later Wednesday at lower elevations before eventually turning to snow.

LAKE TAHOE — A foot or more of much-needed snow could fall in the Sierra by Thursday evening, the National Weather Service in Reno is reporting.

A winter storm watch is in effect for the greater Truckee/Tahoe region from early Thursday morning to Thursday night, according to an NWS special weather statement Tuesday morning.

Two feet of snow is possible above 8,000 feet, 1 foot is expected above 7,000 feet, and up to 6 inches is forecast for lake level.

"Snow levels below 7,000 feet are low confidence due to uncertainties with when the snow levels drop Thursday," the report reads.

It could begin snowing overnight Wednesday above 8,000 and 9,000 feet, according to NWS, not dropping below 7,000 feet until Thursday afternoon and evening.

Wind gusts of 15 to 25 mph at lake level are forecast, with gust reaching 70 mph or more along Sierra ridges.

The storm is expected to hamper travel along many major regional highways; motorists are encouraged to keep an eye out for snow tire and chain restrictions and to prepare for blustery conditions.

Outside of a 2- to 3-foot snow storm in December, precipitation this winter has been almost non-existent at Truckee/Tahoe, a trend that comes on the heels of 2013 being the driest ever in the Sierra.

Look for more to this story later in the week at as the forecast firms up.