The late winter charge will continue into the weekend, and travel over the mountain passes should stay on the challenging side through Saturday. In the short term, a brief break in the storm pattern occurs late Wednesday night into mid-Thursday, which could allow a brief time of improved travel conditions, but a stronger and colder storm moves in Thursday afternoon, bringing snow levels down to the valley floors.

Winds will be strong enough to produce mountain white-out conditions Thursday evening through Friday, with total accumulations on the peaks a couple of feet or more by Saturday, with Lake Tahoe possibly picking up a foot or more through the same time period. A Winter Storm Warning is in effect from Thursday afternoon to early Saturday morning.

In the valley, the storm system is cold enough to produce snow on the valley floor, but there will be enough shadowing by the mountains to limit valley accumulations, but the foothills on the west side of the valley could pick up substantial amounts, possibly 6-12” while the center of the valley will likely get less than 6”. The Friday morning commute is likely to be strongly impacted.