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Traveling to Lake Tahoe for Thanksgiving? Blizzard conditions could hit Sierra Nevada, forecasters say

The Latest on winter storm packing high winds and heavy snow blowing into the Sierra and Lake Tahoe area

Posted: Nov 25, 2019 3:31 PM
Updated: Nov 26, 2019 12:11 PM

RENO, Nev. (AP) - The Latest on winter storm packing high winds and heavy snow blowing into the Sierra and Lake Tahoe area: (all times local):

Weather forecasters in northern Nevada are warning of possible blizzard conditions and near-zero visibility overnight in the Sierra Nevada due to blowing snow and gusty winds.

Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper Hannah DeGoey (de-GOY’) says the storm is expected to crest the mountains Tuesday afternoon and last until Wednesday, affecting Thanksgiving holiday travel on key highways including Interstate 80.

National Weather Service meteorologist Wendell Hohmann says conditions are expected to deteriorate overnight, with temperatures dropping, snow accumulating to up to 8 inches (20 centimeters) and winds gusting to 100 mph (161 kph).

Hohmann says cold air blowing across comparatively warm Lake Tahoe is expected to create lake-effect snow in Nevada’s Washoe Valley including Reno and Sparks, Carson City and Minden.

He says snow could fall as far south as Bishop, California.


12:50 p.m.

Dangerous winds in the Sierra toppled a semi-trailer truck, downed power lines and closed a stretch of highway in Southern California ahead of a winter storm that’s expected to bring up to 2 feet of snow to the top of the mountains around Lake Tahoe by mid-week.

U.S. Highway 6 was expected to remain closed for a few hours Monday afternoon due to downed power lines south of Yosemite National Park near Bishop, California where winds were gusting up to 58 mph.

There were no immediate reports of serious injuries after a tractor-trailer flipped on U.S. Highway 395 near Pearsonville about 150 miles north of Los Angeles.

A wind gust of 94 mph was reported further north Monday morning at Mammoth Lakes Airport.


12:20 p.m.

Winds were gusting in excess of 90 mph in the central Sierra on Monday ahead of a storm expected to bring up to 2 feet of snow to mountain tops around Lake Tahoe by the middle of the week and create a chance of snow as far south as the mountains near Las Vegas.

The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for the Tahoe area effective from 4 p.m. Tuesday to 4 p.m. Thursday. Eight to 18 inches of snow was possible at lake level with winds gusting as high as 60 mph.

A high wind advisory was upgraded to a high wind warning in the central Sierra including California’s Mono County near the Nevada line, where sustained winds of 25 to 40 mph were gusting over 80 mph. A gust of 94 mph was reported Monday morning at Mammoth Lakes Airport south of Yosemite National Park, the weather service said.

The worst conditions are expected around Lake Tahoe late Tuesday through midday Wednesday.

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Another disturbance will cross northern California through tomorrow. The biggest effect will be stronger wind in the valley tonight through Thursday. There are no watches or warnings for fire danger, but the wind won't help.
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