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Weather: Avalanche, winter-storm warnings issued for Lake Tahoe area

Weekend ski plans? Not so fast.

Snow covers the mountain tops along Lake Tahoe.
Snow covers the mountain tops along Lake Tahoe.
Photo by AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli

While the storm that was set to bombard the Bay Area Thursday with rain, thunder, and lightning was downgraded overnight, things are just getting started in the High Sierras. A winter-storm warning for the Lake Tahoe region is currently in effect from now until 5 a.m. Friday.

“Additional snow accumulations of 6 to 12 inches, with local amounts up to two feet near the Sierra Crest, are expected above 7,000 feet,” says the National Weather Service [NWS]. Up to eight inches is expected between 6,500 and 7,000 feet, with a few slushy inches of snowfall down to lake level.”

Although a weekend ski trip to Tahoe might sound delightful, travelers should plan on difficult travel conditions, “especially over passes.” Drivers should also be cautious of possible downed power lines and reductions in visibility.

The NWS takes it one step further, warning, “Avoid travel if possible, you could be stuck in your vehicle for many hours. If you must travel, prepare for long delays and carry an emergency kit with extra food, water, and clothing.”

The Sierra Avalanche Center issued an avalanche watch for the Lake Tahoe backcountry. “The watch will remain in effect until 7 a.m. Friday,” reports the Tahoe Daily Tribune.