Lake Tahoe weather: 2 feet of snow wallops Sierra, avalanche closes Alpine Meadows Road (no injuries) |

Lake Tahoe weather: 2 feet of snow wallops Sierra, avalanche closes Alpine Meadows Road (no injuries)

A look at the conditions at about 7:30 a.m. in Olympic Valley, near Squaw Valley Ski Resort, shows an abundance of snow.
Galya Georgieva / Sierra Sun |

Updated snow totals

Visit to see the Sierra Sun’s snow tracker at most regional ski resorts.

4:30 p.m. UPDATE:

TRUCKEE, Calif. — The forecast did not disappoint overnight Wednesday at Lake Tahoe and Truckee.

A foot or more of snow greeted residents at lake and ground level by 6 a.m. Thursday thanks to a major winter storm that began Wednesday evening and wrapped up late Thursday morning.

At higher elevations, snow totals were much deeper. As of Thursday afternoon, Northstar California, located between Lake Tahoe and Truckee, reported roughly 30 inches of snow.

At Donner Summit, Sugar Bowl Resort was reporting 20-27 inches of snow. Back at the lake, Homewood Mountain Resort recorded 18 inches, while Diamond Peak Ski Resort received 14-20 inches of fresh in Incline Village.

Heavenly Mountain on the South Shore also reported 24 inches since the start of snow Wednesday evening.

Over at Squaw Valley, the ski resort north of Lake Tahoe reported 20 inches of snow.

Initial reports earlier this week called for 12-20 inches of snow, with the storm warning initially scheduled to be finished by morning.

Conditions made driving a major challenge Thursday. Snow tire or chain restrictions were in effect along most highways and passes, including Interstate 80, U.S. Highway 50, California highways 28, 89 and 267, and Nevada highways 28, 207 and 431.


While no injuries or significant incidents were reported in terms of travel, the storm triggered natural avalanche activity near Alpine Meadows ski resort, according to the Sierra Avalanche Center.

“Observers reported large natural avalanches that hit the Alpine Meadows Road. No injuries were reported,” according to the center.

The slides occurred at about 7:15 a.m., according to the center.

“North Tahoe Fire and Squaw Valley Fire units responded at approximately 7:50 this morning to a reported avalanche in the Alpine Meadows area. One structure was damaged and 2 vehicles were involved, three people were quickly rescued, no injuries have been reported,” according to a Thursday morning statement from the North Tahoe Fire Protection District.

Late Thursday, NTFPD issued a press release with more details, indicated 5 people were impacted.

“Upon arrival, fire dept. units found an avalanche had completely come across the road in the 1600 block of Alpine Meadows Rd. Fire dept. personnel along with ski patrol personnel from Alpine Meadows Ski Resort discovered an employee bus from Squaw Valley Ski Resort had been hit by the avalanche and traveled approximately 30 ft. across the road, striking a garage of a residence,” officials said. “There were no injuries to any of the 4 people on the bus. A secondary avalanche occurred a very short time later striking a vehicle who was also headed to the resort. No injuries were reported to the occupant of that vehicle as well.”

Alpine Meadows Road remained closed until approximately noon, according to the fire district.

Alpine Meadows ski resort was closed for all of Thursday as ski patrol from Alpine as well as Squaw Valley dealt with the avalanche.

Considerable avalanche danger exists throughout the region on terrain steeper than 35 degrees at all elevations, according to SAC, with “moderate danger elsewhere due wind slabs and storm slabs.”

Follow all winter long on Facebook for weather and snow updates.

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