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Final burst of snow expected to smack Lake Tahoe area this weekend

Watch the snow come down at Mammoth Mountain resort

Five feet of snow has fallen at Mammoth Mountain in the last 24 hours, turning the resort into a snowy winter wonderland and guaranteeing the slopes stay open through Memorial Day.
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Five feet of snow has fallen at Mammoth Mountain in the last 24 hours, turning the resort into a snowy winter wonderland and guaranteeing the slopes stay open through Memorial Day.

Lake Tahoe is expected to get one last blast of snow this weekend before clear skies usher in the month of April.

Despite a winter storm warning above 2,500 feet along the western Sierra and down into Lake County, National Weather Service meteorologist Cory Mueller said people headed to the mountains should have a clean travel window until about 10 p.m. Friday.

“If people are trying to get up there to ski, this evening looks pretty clear,” Mueller said. “But travel won't be advised as we head up into the overnight, and Saturday after that looks a little dicey.”

Most mountain passes are expected to receive 1 to 2 feet of snow Friday through Sunday, with up to 3 feet anticipated at Lassen Volcanic National Park. Kirkwood Mountain Resort, Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe and Northstar California all reported around 3 feet from this week’s atmospheric river.

Rainfall from the “pineapple express” hit hardest around the Central Coast, where at least 10 people had to be rescued from the Salinas River on Thursday, and the greater Los Angeles area. Further inland, Mammoth Mountain saw roughly 5 feet of snow Tuesday through Thursday, prompting the resort to extend its season through at least Memorial Day.

Light showers are possible throughout the weekend in the Sacramento Valley, but the cold system will mostly affect upper elevations. The California Nevada River Forecast Center’s meter at Sacramento State picked up a combined 1.63 inches Tuesday through Thursday, pushing Sacramento up to 82 percent of its year-to-date average.

Dry skies and highs in the mid-70s are forecast for next week, though Mueller stopped short of declaring the end of the snow season. The Sierra Nevada snowpack is up to 56 percent of annual average after beginning the month at 24 percent.

Benjy Egel: 916-321-1052, begel@sacbee.com

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