Tahoe storm warning: 2-plus feet possible by Friday and still more coming

Chain controls are in effect on most Tahoe highways Tuesday morning.

TRUCKEE, Calif. — Chain restrictions are in effect Tuesday morning as the snow keeps coming at Lake Tahoe and more feet are in the forecast heading into the weekend.

A quick-hitting storm Monday night into Tuesday dropped about 5 inches of snow at Kirkwood Mountain Resort and 4 inches at Palisades Tahoe and Homewood Mountain Resort.

The National Weather Service in Reno said another weak system will pass through Tuesday bringing more snow showers to the Sierra this afternoon into the evening. Up to an inch of snow is expected.

A larger, multi-day storm is expected to hit the region Wednesday.

The weather service issued a winter storm warning that goes into effect at 7 a.m. Wednesday through 4 a.m. Friday for heavy snow.

The advisory said 8 to 14 inches is possible, except 1 to 2 feet above 7,000 feet with localized amounts potentially reaching 3 feet on the Sierra crest.

The service said precipitation will start pushing into Tahoe around daybreak Wednesday. Snow levels will begin around 5,000 feet before increasing to 7,000-7,500 feet in the afternoon. A small break in the weather is possible in the afternoon into the evening but overnight into Thursday will be the most impactful as the snow levels drop and heavy snow returns.

“Travel impacts will become much more widespread and hazardous for much of the region Thursday morning, and continue through Thursday evening and possibly into early Friday, especially for the Sierra/Tahoe basin,” the service said.

Winds will also be strong with gusts up to 100 mph possible for Sierra ridges and 40 mph for the basin creating 3-foot waves and hazardous conditions on the lake.

If traveling during the advisory period, plan for long delays with extra food, water and warm clothing.

The latest road conditions can be obtained by calling 511, or visiting or Caltrans quickmap.

The service said the “remarkably” active weather pattern will continue through next week as several more storm systems line up behind after the midweek storm departs.

“Lingering snow showers will be possible Friday-Friday night mainly across the Sierra, which could be enhanced slightly by a weak shortwave passage,” the service said. “The more potent storms are likely to come this weekend and again next Monday-Tuesday. There may not even be much of a break in snow for the Sierra during these four days as these waves of moisture and forcing come rather quickly in succession.”

Being several days out, the service is still refining details and timing but said a foot of snow could fall below 7,000 feet and 2-plus feet for higher elevations.

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