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Storm turns Lake Tahoe into surfin’ safari

Area’s first atmospheric river storm of the season produces far out results

After suffering through a summer of impossibly warm days, the Bay Area was blessed Wednesday with its first “atmospheric river” storm of the season. And over in Lake Tahoe, things took a turn toward the tubular, with rain and wind producing breakers as high as six feet.

The water was so gnarly that some people surfed it.

"It was like being at the ocean," Tahoe resident Peter Spain, told SFGate. "It was raging out there. It was pretty surreal."

An atmospheric river is a band of moisture that can move huge amounts of water vapor towards the west coast. High winds are also a byproduct of the storm, which is why Lake Tahoe appeared to have ocean-like qualities this week.

A post shared by Kimberly Brault (@l0w_tide) on

Snow also blanketed parts of the region, including parts of Donner Pass. Rain in both the Bay Area and Lake Tahoe are expected to continue until Friday.

As for novice surfers who want to ride some tasty waves in Tahoe, don’t do it without a dry suit—water temperature is somewhere in the 50s.