SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF/AP) — A fierce winter storm battered the Lake Tahoe area early Tuesday with hurricane force gusts being clocked at Alpine Meadows Summit, Squaw Summitt, Mammoth Mountain and the Mammoth Yosemite Airport, weather officials said.

The National Weather Service labels a hurricane force wind to be gusts or sustained breezes that top 74 mph. Early Tuesday morning, the weather recorded gusts of 137 mph at Alpine Meadows, 124 mph at Squaw Summit, 101 at Mammoth Mountain, 85 mph at Walker Lake and 79 mph at the Mammoth Yosemite Airport.

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The weather service also issued a severe turbulence warning for the skies above the Sierra.

A weather advisory for the Reno-Tahoe area expired at 10 a.m. Tuesday but a winter storm watch goes into effect Thursday when a stronger storm is forecast to bring up to 2 feet of snow to the highest elevations.

While the storm carried with it strong winds, it did not dump much snow. Less than a half-foot of snow was recorded at most Tahoe-area ski resorts. High-profile vehicles were prohibited on I-580 in the Washoe Valley between Reno and Carson City.

Chains were mandatory for all trucks and cars early Tuesday except for four-wheel vehicles with snow tires for about a 70-mile stretch of I-80 west of the California-Nevada line.

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