Potentially life threatening blizzard for the Sierra – Up to 5 feet of snow

Potentially life threatening blizzard for the Sierra – Up to 5 feet of snow

Greater Lake Tahoe Area – Including the cities of South Lake Tahoe, Truckee, Stateline, and Incline Village

National Weather Service Reno NV
Mar 1 2018


Heavy snow with periods of blizzard conditions expected. Strong winds and heavy snowfall will cause whiteout conditions with blowing snow. Total snow accumulations of 2 to 5 feet (60 cm to 150 cm) in the Sierra above 7000 feet, with 1 to 3 feet of snow below 7000 feet, including the Lake Tahoe basin.

Heaviest snow expected from 8 AM this morning to 4 AM PST Friday.

Travel will be very difficult to impossible, including both the morning and evening commutes today. Damage to some trees and power lines is likely. Significant reductions in visibility down to near zero at times especially in higher elevations.


Thanks to Kenneth Lund for this link

2 thoughts on “Potentially life threatening blizzard for the Sierra – Up to 5 feet of snow

  1. This is local lore, but even some folks here do not know it. (The local school was founded by a survivor of this event…)

    IF you do not know about The Donner Party, it is a clear lesson in what the Sierra Nevada can throw at you. 18 FEET of snow in one wallop. Drifting high enough many cabins have an outdoor staircase to a second or third floor door (so you can get out in winter…)


    By the beginning of November 1846, the settlers had reached the Sierra Nevada where they became trapped by an early, heavy snowfall near Truckee (now Donner) Lake, high in the mountains. Their food supplies ran extremely low and, in mid-December, some of the group set out on foot to obtain help. Rescuers from California attempted to reach the settlers, but the first relief party did not arrive until the middle of February 1847, almost four months after the wagon train had become trapped. Of the 87 members of the party, 48 survived to reach California, many of them having eaten the dead for survival.

    Similarly, in the 1950s, their was a train got caught.

    Roadmaster Fulbright had brought with him news of the streamliner City of San Francisco of the day before. The plush yellow train had struck a gigantic snowslide down the westbound iron. Deadhead crews and linemen were riding the steam helper’s cab. Engineer Bell of the cab-in-fronter had sustained injuries and most of the men in that cab had been cut by flying glass. Fulbright and Assistant Superintendent Bob Miller had come along on an eastbound rotary.

    Sapunor and Painter learned from Fulbright that two big four-cylindered cab-in-fronters sent to rescue the diesels on yesterday’s City had left the rails at Troy. Another Mallet, the 4104, was on the ground at Gold Run. The Mountain Division was having trouble — plenty of it.

    Much of the way the City snaked down through a deep cut of ice and snow. The blast of the blizzard alone was enough to keep fresh drifts ever piling up before the wedge nose of the diesel’s pilot plow, but in addition, dangerous ice cones arched out over the top of the cut, threatening to tumble more tons of the heavy white stuff into the path of the train.

    Yes, enough snow to stop a train… But the outcome was better and folks were rescued after a few days.

    Nifty photos in the link…

    I’ve driven the path past both those places in the snow with chains on. It teaches you things…

  2. Why, that’s unheard of ! Spring is a mere 18 days away ! By Monday little more than two weeks away. It should be Sunny and 85F by then…. let’s see if the snow completely melts in the Sierras this year before Fall 2018 arrives……
    Do you get the sense along with other developments being reported that this telegraphs a change in the global/regional climate aldibo?

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