Lake Tahoe weather: 3-plus feet of snow possible in all-day winter storm Thursday | SierraSun.com

Lake Tahoe weather: 3-plus feet of snow possible in all-day winter storm Thursday

Staff report

TRUCKEE, Calif. — After preliminary forecasts suggested several feet of snow would blanket the region this week, the National Weather Service has updated projections for Thursday's storm — still concluding more than 3 feet of the white stuff may be in the cards.

The greater Truckee-Tahoe-Reno region will be under a winter storm watch from midnight on Thursday through 4 a.m. Friday, according to NWS in Reno.

"Snow will move into the Lake Tahoe Basin late Wednesday night, with heavy snowfall by Thursday morning," according to the storm watch. "Snow will decrease by Thursday evening, with snow showers lingering into Friday morning."

Around 1 to 3 feet of snow is possible above 7,000 feet, with "locally higher amounts along the Sierra crest," according to NWS. Twelve to 24 inches of snow is possible at lake level, with the highest amounts along and west of Highway 89.

Snow levels will start at 8,000 to 8,500 feet Wednesday before falling to below 5,500 feet by Thursday morning.

Whether the snowfall turns to rain remains to be seen. NWS forecasts a high temperature in Truckee Thursday of 41, down from 58 degrees on Wednesday. Thirty-seven is Friday's high.

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Tuesday's forecast comes after NWS issued a special weather statement on Monday, forecasting that "several feet of snow" is likely from the storm.

As is the case with most Sierra storms, conditions will make driving a challenge. Snow tire or chain restrictions may be 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.

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Should the storm hit as forecast, it would be a welcome boost to Truckee-Tahoe ski resorts, many of which were able to open by Thanksgiving this year due to a series of smaller snow storms in November.

Click here to see the Sierra Sun’s snowfall tracker, with updated totals at most Truckee-Tahoe ski resorts.