RENO, Nev. (AP) — The Latest on the powerful winter storm approaching Lake Tahoe and the Sierra (all times local, PST):
The National Weather Service is predicting blizzard conditions in the Lake Tahoe area on Thursday, with winds gusting over the ridge tops in excess of 100 mph (160 kph) and as much as 5 feet (1.5 meters) of snow in the upper elevations by the weekend.
A rare blizzard warning goes into effect at 8 a.m. Thursday through 4 a.m. Friday.
The weather service in Reno issued a winter storm warning earlier for the Tahoe region effective from 10 p.m. Wednesday through 10 a.m. Saturday.
The service says the biggest storm of the season so far could create a “life-threatening situation.”
It says strong winds and heavy snowfall rates will cause whiteout conditions with blowing snow. Travel will be very difficult to impossible, especially Thursday into Friday morning.
The avalanche danger also is expected to rise to the high category from 7 a.m. Thursday to 10 a.m. Saturday.
The National Weather Service has issued a series of winter storm warnings and advisories across most of northern Nevada the next three days as the biggest storm of the season moves into the region.
A winter storm warning goes into effect at 10 p.m. Wednesday for the Lake Tahoe-area through 10 a.m. Saturday.
The service says anywhere from 2 to 5 feet (60 centimeters to 1.5 meters) of snow is expected in the upper elevations, with 1 to 3 feet (30 cm to 90 cm) at lake level.
A winter weather advisory runs from 4 p.m. Thursday to 10 a.m. Saturday along the Sierra’s eastern front, including Reno and Carson City where 2 to 5 inches (6 cm to 12 cm) is expected on the valley floors and up to 12 inches (30 cm) in the foothills.
In north-central and northeast Nevada, a winter storm watch begins Wednesday afternoon for parts of Lander, Eureka, Nye, Elko and White Pine Counties. It runs through Saturday afternoon. A half-foot of snow (15 cm) is forecast in the valleys and up to 18 inches (45 cm) in the mountains.