A rare blizzard warning has been issued for the Sierra Nevada mountains of California. Up to 5 feet of snow is expected to fall Wednesday night into Thursday as a strong cold core low pressure system pushes moisture inland from the Pacific Ocean.
National Weather Service forecasters in Reno said Tuesday as much as 5 feet (1.5 meters) of snow is now possible in the upper elevations around Tahoe Wednesday night into Thursday, with winds gusting up to 110 mph (177 kph) over the ridge tops.
They say dangerous and potentially life-threatening blizzard conditions are forecast at elevations above 7,000 feet (2,133 meters), with high avalanche danger throughout the region.
Between 8 and 18 inches (20 and 45 centimeters) of snow is expected at lake level at Tahoe. Up to 6 inches (15 cm) is forecast for the valley floors around Reno and Carson City.
The Sierra blizzard warning runs from 7 p.m. Wednesday to 7 a.m. Thursday.
Heavy snow moves in Wednesday afternoon and mountain travel will be dangerous to near impossible into Thursday. Road closures of Interstate 80, U.S. Highway 50 are likely.