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Tahoe blizzard expected this weekend; travel may be ‘impossible,’ weather service says

A blizzard obstructs the view of a mountain highway.
Snow blanketed South Lake Tahoe on Nov. 8, 2022. A winter storm warning is in effect for the Greater Lake Tahoe region this weekend. | Source: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Travelers bound for the Sierras should be wary, as a winter storm could dump snow over the mountains this weekend, according to the National Weather Service.

A winter storm warning from the NWS says travel could be difficult in the Greater Lake Tahoe area due to heavy snow and whiteout conditions over the weekend. The warning will be in effect from 7 a.m. Saturday to 10 a.m. Sunday.

Areas around Lake Tahoe could see between 5 and 10 inches and areas above 7,000 feet could see between 10 and 20 inches. Wind gusts will be as high as 50 mph in lower elevations and between 80 and 100 mph over mountain ridges.

The NWS said traveling through the Sierras during the storm will be "difficult to impossible" and advises people should change their travel plans if possible. If people must travel, they should carry tire chains, food and water.

There is also a winter weather advisory warning of whiteout conditions in Lassen County, eastern Plumas County and eastern Sierra County. The advisory is in effect from 7 a.m. Saturday to 4 a.m. Sunday and forecasts 4 inches of snow in valley areas and between 5 and 10 inches in the mountains. Gusts as high as 50 miles per hour are expected and travel through these area will be "very difficult" due to the conditions.

Garrett Leahy can be reached at garrett@sfstandard.com