Winter storm warning in effect for Lake Tahoe region, motorists urged to avoid area

Screenshot of live Caltrans camera at South Lake Tahoe, along Hwy 50 at Echo Summit on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022. (Caltrans)

A winter storm warning was in effect for the greater Lake Tahoe area on Tuesday as heavy snow fell in the region.

The National Weather Service (NWS) said the warning would remain in effect through Wednesday at 10 a.m., covering cities and communities including South Lake Tahoe, Truckee, Stateline, and Incline Village. 

The agency warned driving through the region would be extremely difficult, if not impossible. 

"Be prepared for whiteout conditions and sub-zero wind chills along ridgelines and near the mountain passes," the NWS said in its alert, noting the hazardous conditions will affect all peak commute times.

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Snow accumulations of eight to 18 inches were expected in some of the lower elevations.  Up to two-and-a-half feet of snow were forecasted for locations above 7,000 feet.

The storm was welcome news for Tahoe ski resorts, getting ready for the start of the 2022-23 season. 

Palisades Tahoe shared photos of fresh powder on Tuesday morning, saying, "Another 3-6 inches overnight have brought our storm total to 16 inches!! It’s still dumping right now and we’ll see quite a bit more snow before this one is over."  

The resort has scheduled its opening day for Nov. 22.

Harrah's Lake Tahoe Hotel and Casino also shared video of the snow coming down, inviting people to come visit.

For now, the weather service urged drivers to avoid the Sierra Tahoe area and had advice for those who must travel through the region. 

"You could be stuck in your vehicle for many hours," NWS officials warned, adding, "If you must travel, prepare for long delays and carry an emergency kit with extra food, water and clothing."

Residents who live in the area were encouraged to have plans in place in the event of storm-related power outages.

Screenshot of Caltrans traffic camera on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022 at State Route 267: Tahoe Vista Hwy 267 at Brockway Summit. (Caltrans )

This story was reported from Oakland, Calif.