Weak showers in the Sacramento Valley belied the serious snow dropping in Lake Tahoe on Thursday, more of which is expected early next week.
The California Nevada River Forecast Center picked up just 0.13 inches of rain in downtown Sacramento on Thursday, about the same amount recorded in Stockton and the Bay Area.
But snow forecaster Bryan Allegretto reported most resorts on Lake Tahoe’s north side saw nine to 11 inches of powder Thursday, with southern lodges closer to five to seven inches. Snow began falling at about the 6,500-foot level about 3 p.m. Thursday and is expected to reach down to 3,000 feet in the storm’s tail end.
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The moderate snowfall coupled with 25 mph to 35 mph winds and gusts up to 50 mph prompted the National Weather Service to issue a winter storm warning from Lassen Volcanic National Park to the northwest Sierra Nevada.
Chain controls were in place on most highways around the Tahoe region as of 8:30 a.m. Friday east of Kingvale and Twin Bridges, and road surfaces and visibility are expected to be affected until about 4 p.m.
Isolated showers, and even possible thunderstorms, are on deck into Friday afternoon before a dry spell Saturday and early Sunday, said Craig Shoemaker, National Weather Service meteorologist.
A similar system is expected to drop a quarter-inch of rain in the valley and six to 12 inches of snow in the mountains from Sunday afternoon into early Monday morning, followed by more scattered, weak storms through the rest of the week.