Mercury’s dropping |

Mercury’s dropping

Goodbye summer. Hello winter?

Tahoe and Truckee will get a dose of frigid air this weekend, plunging the mercury by 20 degrees and bringing gusty winds and freezing nighttime temperatures starting Thursday, according to the National Weather Service.

The weather system may even bring a little snow, said Rudy Cruz, a weather service specialist with the National Weather Service in Reno.

“The higher peaks might see some light dusting,” Cruz said.

Although there is little moisture with this system, the snow levels will reach as low as 6,000 feet, he said.

Gusty winds could cause difficult travel conditions, with blowing dust that could reduce visibility today and Friday, said Cruz.

The winds, which could reach up to 50 mph, could also blow away patio furniture and cause rough conditions on Lake Tahoe, Cruz said.

During strong winds, the U.S. Coast Guard station in Tahoe City often responds to boats run aground or sunk from the strong gusts, said the station’s petty officer Michael Faivre.

“The boats get detached from their buoys and get washed up on shore,” Faivre said.

If the National Weather Service issues a lake wind advisory, Coast Guard personnel will be broadcasting the warning to boat radios around the lake, he said.

As the cold front pushes in high temperatures will only reach the mid 60s to low 70s, said Cruz. Lows could dip as low as the mid 20s , once the cold air from western Canada settles in, he said.

Although the temperature plunge will feel sudden, September is usually a month of weather change, as summer conditions give way to the unstable weather patterns of fall, said Cruz.

“You usually see, in September, some kind of system that moves in and ends summer abruptly,” Cruz said.

Forecasters say although the cold front from Western Canada will give residents a dose of fall or even early winter, warm conditions are likely to fill back in before the true onset of winter.

“We could be back to nice temperatures in October, yet that is hard to tell, exactly. But it doesn’t look like winter is coming just yet,” said Cruz.

” Sun News Service reporter Morgan Kriz contributed to this report.

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