Update: Chain controls in effect; Flood watch issued as storms take aim at Lake Tahoe

Update: Chain controls in effect; Flood watch issued as storms take aim at Lake Tahoe
A view of Lake Tahoe on Wednesday morning from Heavenly Mountain Resort.

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – As the latest storm leaves Lake Tahoe, several more are preparing to impact the basin in the new year and beyond.

Chain controls are in effect Wednesday morning for many Tahoe highways, including Echo Peaks, Mt. Rose, Spooner and Donner. California State Route 89 is also closed in Emerald Bay.

For more information on road conditions, visit https://www.nvroads.comhttps://quickmap.dot.ca.gov or call 511.

After a break from rain and snow on Wednesday, active weather will pick up again with a series of storms into the new year.

The National Weather Service in Reno says a faster storm will move into the Lake Tahoe basin Thursday bringing 4 to 8 inches of snow along the Sierra Ridge with 2 to 4 inches possible at lake level and 2 inches it is possible in the western foothills of Nevada. with little or no accumulation expected in valleys.

Snow may affect the Thursday morning commute. Wind gusts in the Sierra could reach 70 mph, but the service said it shouldn’t be a concern at lower elevations.

Another storm on Friday is expected to bring heavy rain and snow to higher elevations, which will affect mountain travel and may cause some minor flooding, the service said in a special weather statement.

There is significant moisture associated with the storm that is expected to last through Sunday, which could result in many feet of snow in higher elevations in the Sierra.

Liquid totals in the Sierra could reach 5 to 7 inches over a 2-day period, with 2 to 4 inches in the foothills and 1 to 2 inches across western Nevada.

A flash flood watch has been issued Wednesday for the greater Tahoe area effective 7 a.m. Friday, Dec. 30, and lasting until 4 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 1.

“Excessive runoff may result in flooding of major rivers, creeks, streams and other low-lying and flood-prone areas,” the advisory said. “Streams and streams can overflow their banks. Flooding is possible in urban areas and places with poor drainage. Passages at low water may flood.”

The service said snow levels are expected to rise to 8,000-8,500 feet in about 24 hours during the heaviest precipitation. Snow levels then begin to drop Saturday afternoon bringing impacts to most Sierra passes by the evening and to Lake Tahoe and hill elevations by early Sunday morning.

“With snow levels on the valley floors by Sunday morning, any continued precipitation will be snow and light accumulations in the valleys cannot be ruled out,” the service said. “The snow character will be a heavy, wet Sierra cement.”

The service said active weather will continue into the first week of 2023 with three more storm systems possible next week.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *