South Tahoe gets yet another heaping helping of snow

Dan Thrift /Nevada Appeal News Service The owner of this home on Venice Drive in the Tahoe Keys-area of South Lake Tahoe is going to find it difficult getting to the front door thanks to the heavy snow and high wind from late Saturday and early Sunday.

Dan Thrift /Nevada Appeal News Service The owner of this home on Venice Drive in the Tahoe Keys-area of South Lake Tahoe is going to find it difficult getting to the front door thanks to the heavy snow and high wind from late Saturday and early Sunday.

As the back end of a winter storm cleared the Sierra on Sunday, Tahoans found themselves digging out from between 2 to 3 feet of snow and 6-foot-high drifts that blew into the basin early Sunday morning.

In what has been arguably one of the wettest Januarys in recent memory, locals found themselves looking for new and creative places to throw snow from their driveways and sidewalks.

In most places around the South Shore, there's between 3 and 4 feet of snow on the ground as a result of two storm systems in four days.

"I've been here since 1995, and I'm happy to say this is the most snow I've seen in a month's time," said Kyle Kelley of South Lake Tahoe.

The snow was so deep that Kelley found his four-wheel-drive SUV stuck in the snow late Saturday night.

"It takes a lot of snow for that to happen," he said.

Thursday's and Sunday's storms have produced about 3 feet of snow at lake level, said Scott McGuire, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Reno. Wind gusts early Sunday reached 159 mph at the weather service's Sierra Crest station near Squaw resort and 144 mph in northwest Tahoe.

Winds continued to barrel through the Sierra, causing arches of snow up and down Spooner Summit and Kingsbury Grade.

Tahoe Douglas firefighters at Daggett Summit report having about 80 inches of snow on the ground, with much of that in high drifts, McGuire said.

The good news is the forecast calls for a reprieve from storms at least for the next few days, with high temperatures in the 40s.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Forest Service has issued an avalanche advisory that will last through today because of dangerous, unsteady drifts along cornices that piled several feet high from the storm. The advisory covers the central Sierra Nevada and applies to backcountry areas outside of developed ski areas only.

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