Storms continue to sweep through the Sierra, piling up snow in Truckee-Tahoe
The first of two storms to hit the Truckee-Tahoe area this past week brought heavy precipitation to the Sierra Nevada, dropping several inches of rain in region.
Rain turned to snow on Thursday, prompting a winter storm warning from the National Weather Service Office in Reno, which will remain in effect until noon Sunday.
Up to 3 feet of heavy snow is expected to accumulate at lower elevations, according to the weather service, and up to 6 feet is forecast for areas above 7,000 feet.
The past week’s weather has brought road closures to the Sierra, including a shutdown of Interstate 80 for several hours, closures and wind holds at local ski resorts, and several reports of winds gusting at more than 120 mph.
Going into the weekend the weather service cautioned that heavy snow falling into the rain will create a “slushy mess” with water also hidden under the snow. Travel is not recommend during this time.
This past week’s series of storms began with a warm subtropical system that brought several inches of rain to the region.
Truckee Tahoe Airport said it received 2.68 inches of rain as of Thursday morning, while nearby Donner Lake was hit with 3.86 inches.
Homewood was pelted with 4 inches of rain, according to the weather service, and across the lake, Crystal Bay received 3.75 inches of rain as of Thursday morning.
By Thursday a cold front moved in from the north that should bring snow levels down to valley floors in Western Nevada.
By Friday morning Truckee could have a couple feet of snow, according to Evan LaGuardia, meteorologist for the National Weather Service Office in Reno, while valley floors, including Reno, could see a few inches of snow.
Snow will continue to accumulate through Sunday, and could result in a storm total of 3-5 feet of new snow at local ski resorts. Temperatures aren’t expected to get above 30 degrees throughout the weekend in Truckee.
The Truckee-Tahoe area should see a break from stormy weather beginning Monday, according to the weather service, before another chance of snow showers late Tuesday night.
Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.