(KTXL) — The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory for the Lake Tahoe region ahead of another storm expected to bring up to a foot (30 centimeters) of snow to the upper elevations and winds gusting as high as 100 mph (160 kph) over Sierra ridges.
The advisory for the storm blowing in from the north goes into effect around Lake Tahoe at 10 p.m. Wednesday and lasts until 10 a.m. Thursday.
The service says 3 to 8 inches (7 to 20 cm) of snow is expected at lake level, with near a foot possible above elevations of 7,000 feet (2,133 meters). It says chain restrictions likely will be imposed over mountain passes.
Winds gusting to 45 mph (72 kph) at lake level could produce waves 2 to 4 feet (61-122 cm) tall.
The advisory begins at 7 p.m. Wednesday for areas north of Tahoe around Portola and Susanville, California, and will be in effect as far south of Tahoe as Mammoth Lakes from 2 a.m. to noon.
“Our crews have just been getting the equipment ready,” said Raquel Borrayo with Caltrans. “So, we’ve been replacing blades on our graters, making sure our sanding and grinding trucks are all filled and ready to go.”
While they don’t expect a big storm — just about 8 to 12 inches of snow — Caltrans was ready Wednesday night.
“Our crews are going to be out there on the road in the middle of the night while most people are sleeping, making sure that those roadways are staying open,” Borrayo told FOX40.
Farther up the mountain from Kingvale, traffic on the freeway was sparse and clear.
At Boreal Mountain Resort, only ticket holders were allowed as part of the new COVID-19 restrictions and to limit the number of people.
In downtown Truckee, there were those who braved the cold weather under the comfort of heaters in makeshift pocket parks.
“This is what we do. We live in Tahoe, we live in Truckee, it snows,” said JJ Morgan, who works at Moody’s and the Truckee Hotel. “We’ll just make sure that we keep all the sidewalks clean, keep the snow off of the structure and just do what we do. We’re used to it.”
“We are counting on the community to support all the restaurants, just like they did last time. And it’s what helps us get to the other side of this,” Morgan continued.
Two to six inches (5 to 15 cm) of snow is expected along U.S. Highway 395 north of Reno, with up to 2 inches (5 cm) in the valleys from Reno to Gardnerville.
Caltrans said they’ll do their best to keep the roads clear for the morning commute but asked drivers to slow down and leave with plenty of time to get to their destination.