(VIDEO) Winter storm expected to deliver several feet of snow to local ski resorts; up to 2 feet in Truckee, Tahoe
January 14, 2019
A winter storm is forecast to deliver several feet of fresh powder to the area's ski resorts this week and could drop up to 2 feet around Truckee and Lake Tahoe.
Beginning Monday night there will be a chance of snow in the region, according to the National Weather Service Office in Reno, which issued a winter weather advisory for the area beginning on Tuesday at 4 p.m. and lasting until 4 p.m. the following day. The weather service has also issued a winter storm watch from Wednesday afternoon until late Thursday night.
Tuesday through Wednesday morning, the weather service has forecast 5 to 10 inches of snowfall at elevations below 7,000 feet. Several of the area's ski resort's are projecting more than a foot of fresh snow when they begin operations on Wednesday morning.
The heaviest snowfall of the storm is forecast for Wednesday afternoon into Thursday, according to the weather service, and could produce blizzard-like conditions with winds gusting across the Sierra as high as 100 mph. Up to 4 feet of snow is possible at elevations above 7,000 feet, and up to 2 feet of snow is projected for areas below 7,000 feet.
The high winds on Wednesday and Thursday could affect upper mountain lift operations at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, according to a post on the resort’s website, which projects the mountain will open Thursday morning with 21 to 29 inches of fresh snow. For latest lift closures and conditions, visit SquawAlpine.com.
Snow is expected to fall throughout Thursday before tapering off on Friday morning, but could deliver more than a foot of powder to local resorts by the time lifts begin spinning on Friday.
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This weekend will see daytime highs in the 30s, according to the weather service, with another chance of light snow Saturday night through Sunday.
CalTrans advises against midweek travel
From Wednesday evening through Thursday, the California Department of Transportation is advising against travel through the area.
Motorists should anticipate delays and increased travel time throughout the week, according to a statement released by the department on Monday, including chain controls on Interstate 80 over Donner Summit, on U.S. Highway 50 over Echo Summit, and on other Sierra mountain roadways. The department's permitted and trained chain installers on Interstate 80 can be identified by a reflective sign with their bib number. Chain installers are not permitted to sell chains.
Motorists, which must carry chains or other legally approved traction devices, are advised by the department that speed limits during chain controls are reduced to 30 mph on Interstate 80 and 25 mph on U.S. 50. Crews will be working around the clock to keep roadways open and clear, according to a release from the department, meaning drivers should watch for snow removal equipment and reduce speeds while in their vicinity.
The department also reminds drivers to winterize vehicles by ensuring tires are properly inflated and have good tread, and to stock vehicles with water, blankets, snacks, a flashlight and a full tank of gas before mountain travel. Further tips for safe winter driving and information about chain controls can be found at dot.ca.gov/cttravel/winter.html.
Check out Caltrans’ "QuickMap" for current road conditions and chain requirements at http://quickmap.dot.ca.gov.