San Francisco Chronicle

Weather may cause delay in Tahoe travel

- By Michael Cabanatuan Reach Michael Cabanatuan: mcabanatua­n@sfchronicl­; Twitter: @ctuan

The inundation of fresh, deep snow and sunny skies around Lake Tahoe may be an irresistib­le lure for skiers, snowboarde­rs and snow lovers this weekend.

But anyone headed to the Sierra this weekend should be prepared to stick around and enjoy that snow — and more — through at least Tuesday, weather officials said Friday.

The National Weather Service offices in Reno and Sacramento warned in social media posts that another major snowstorm is on the way, and anyone who heads to Lake Tahoe this weekend may not be able to get back until at least Tuesday.

The storm is expected to arrive Saturday night and stick around through early next week. So anyone planning to head to the Tahoe region should reconsider their plans — or be prepared to hunker down.

According to the weather service in Reno, as much as 4-6 feet of snow could fall between Saturday night and early Wednesday morning, with up to 2-3 feet at lake level.

“Please reconsider your mountain travel plans this weekend!!!” said the weather service in Sacramento, warning that high and gusty winds will create “dangerous to impossible travel conditions” Saturday through Monday.

“Mountain travel is highly discourage­d,” the tweet cautioned, advising people to make sure they travel with emergency supplies in case they get stranded, that the place they’re headed to has power and that the roads there are plowed and passable, and that they have extra gas for possible delays.

Travelers should also ask themselves: “Will I be OK if I am unable to return home until Tuesday?”

The storm that blasted the Sierra earlier this week dumped more than 5 feet of snow with high winds resulting in zero visibility conditions that shut down Interstate 80 for three days and closed Highway 50 intermitte­ntly for avalanche control efforts.

Bay Area motorists headed to the Tahoe region could get no further than Applegate in Placer County on I-80, where they were advised to turn around. Some sneaked around barriers and got stuck in snow while others took alternate routes, including unplowed back country roads, and were stranded, according to the CHP and local sheriff ’s offices.

 ?? Salgu Wissmath/The Chronicle ?? Carlos Gonzalez shovels snow off his car in front of his home in South Lake Tahoe on Wednesday.
Salgu Wissmath/The Chronicle Carlos Gonzalez shovels snow off his car in front of his home in South Lake Tahoe on Wednesday.

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