Storm expected to drop several inches of mountain snow
April 29, 2014
After receiving up to an inch of snow on Lake Tahoe's West Shore Tuesday, weather forecasters are now predicting additional snowfall of up to 4 inches at lake level and 5-10 inches above 7,000 feet.
The fresh snow was expected to start falling late last night at higher elevations, with snowfall continuing off and on through this evening.
Late Thursday it was anticipated that snow levels would start between 7,000 feet and 7,500 feet and drop overnight to lake level.
"Spring systems are kind of trickier to forecast because we're dealing with warmer ground and higher sun angles," said Scott McGuire, forecaster for the National Weather Service.
A winter weather advisory has been issued in the area and is in effect until 11 p.m. tonight.
McGuire said the conditions could make for slick roadways. However, most roads should be clear of snow this morning after chilly overnight temperatures made way for warmer conditions.
Today's winds, on the other hand, are predicted to maintain speeds similar to Thursday's. They are expected to be 15 to 25 mph, with gusts moving up to 30 mph and ridge gusts reaching up to 70 mph, according to the National Weather Service.
Another chance of snow exists after midnight tonight before Tahoe heads into a cloud-splotched weekend.
Kirkwood Mountain Resort, the last South Shore ski resort open, reported that it expects to finish the season with a "fantastic powder weekend," spokesperson Kevin Cooper said.
"It's going to make for a great skiing and riding surface," he said of the snowfall.
Today's high temperatures are forecasted to hit 39 degrees in South Lake Tahoe with lows in the low 20s. The expectation is that temperatures will shoot up significantly during the weekend and reach highs in the low- to mid- 60s on Monday.
If predictions prove true, McGuire said Monday and Tuesday will be bright and sunny.
"Monday and Tuesday will be beautiful days," he said.
The recent batch of wet weather won't be enough to pull the region out of what experts are calling a severe to exceptional drought in most of Nevada and eastern California. However, McGuire said any little bit helps.
"It will definitely help with the water situation," he said. "We'll take whatever we can get at this point."
The Climate Prediction Center has issued an El Niño watch as forecast models show signs of warming before a wet winter. But it's still "a little too early to tell" whether or not the region will actually experience an El Niño, McGuire said.
"Things do look good that we will have some sort of El Niño," he said, "it's just to what magnitude we're not sure of yet."