Skip to content

Back-to-back storms could bring up to 6 feet of snow to Tahoe

Photo of Amy Graff

FILE - Snow dumped at 7,800 in Kirkwood Meadows just south of Highway 88 on Oct. 11, 2021.

FILE – Snow dumped at 7,800 in Kirkwood Meadows just south of Highway 88 on Oct. 11, 2021.

Twitter: @chilesconsin

Back-to-back storms poised to slam California’s Sierra Nevada Thursday through Sunday could bring 4 to 6 feet of fresh snow in the higher elevations of the Tahoe Basin, the National Weather Service said. The onslaught of snow is expected to create dangerous driving conditions, especially on Saturday. 

“Travel is highly discouraged,” said Chelsea Peters, a forecaster with the weather service’s Sacramento office. “It’s going to be highly unpleasant. Almost certainly there will be road closures.”

The first storm is on track to arrive Thursday afternoon to evening and is expected to be quick-hitting with minimal to moderate impacts, Peters said. With this system, the snowfall is forecast be heaviest overnight and continue into Friday morning before conditions temporarily dry up. 

“We do have a winter weather advisory out mainly for elevations above 3,500 feet where passes could see anywhere from 6 to 8 inches and highest elevations could see 12 to 18 inches,” Peters said of of the Thursday-Friday storm.

“Robust” is the word the weather service’s Reno office used to describe the second system that is set to arrive Friday evening and push into Saturday and Sunday. Peters said the system is bigger, stronger and slower moving than the first. It could bring anywhere from 4 to 5 feet of snow to elevations in the Tahoe Basin above 3,500 feet. Winds are also expected to kick up, gusting at 45 to 60 mph.

“These strong winds along with heavy snow will bring whiteout conditions and near impossible travel on Saturday over the mountains,” the weather service said.