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Spring snowstorms headed for dry Sierra, Lake Tahoe

California Storms
Caltrans via AP
In this image taken from video from a Caltrans remote video traffic camera, very light traffic is seen in the snow along Interstate 80 at Donner Summit, Calif., Monday, Oct. 25, 2021.

The National Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory Thursday for the Lake Tahoe area, where up to 18 inches of snow is possible atop the snow-starved Sierra, with another storm on the way Saturday.

“Winter weather is not done yet,” weather service officials in Reno said. “The pattern we all probably wanted in mid-winter is here.”

The advisory remains in effect until 11 p.m. Thursday for the Tahoe area on the Nevada-California line. Ten to 18 inches of snow is expected with winds gusting in excess of 50 mph on the west shore at elevations above 7,000 feet, with 5 to 10 inches below that.

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Multiple storm systems will move through the region over the next seven to 10 days, the next one sometime Saturday morning, the service said.

It should provide a small boost to the Sierra snowpack, which sat at just 30% of average on April 1 when historically it’s at its peak.

“We are so pleased to welcome the precipitation, but need to be cautious in our optimism for accumulation,” the service said. “This storm will be largely a wind-maker, with potentially damaging wind gust of 60-plus mph possible in and around the eastern Sierra.”