TRUCKEE (CBS SF/AP) — With snowfall totals of 80-100 inches predicted over the next three days for Donner Summit, an avalanche watch was issued for the Lake Tahoe Sunday.
The Sierra Avalanche Center issued the avalanche watch for Sunday evening into Wednesday for backcountry areas from Yuba Pass to Ebbetts Pass.READ MORE: UPDATE: 4 Minors Arrested In Connection with Shooting in Hillsdale Mall Parking Lot
“With this amount of snow, avalanches certainly become a concern for the mountain areas,” the National Weather Service said. “The heaviest snow is expected Sunday night into Tuesday morning when snowfall rates could reach 2-3 inches per hour.”
In issuing the watch, the Sierra Avalanche Center said: “New storm snow today could begin to overload our already weak snowpack. This is especially concerning in areas where blowing snow will add additional load onto shaded slopes with previous snow coverage.”
A winter storm warning is also in place for Tahoe.
“Heavy snow expected,” forecasters said. “Total snow accumulations of 2 to 4 feet, except 4 to 8 feet above 7000 feet. Sierra ridge winds could exceed 100 mph with periodic gusts to 50 mph in the lower elevations.”
And there will only be a brief respite before the snow return.READ MORE: UPDATE: Police Shoot, Kill Armed Suspect Outside International Terminal at SFO
“While the storm will begin to wind down by Tuesday evening, digging out after the storm may keep travel impacted into Wednesday,” forecasters said. “Then, there is another winter storm following right on its heels midday Wednesday into Thursday night.”
Meanwhile, a massive snowslide swept through part of a Washington state ski resort used to access backcountry skiing on Saturday, killing a 60-year-old man and temporarily trapping five others.
The avalanche was reported about 10:50 a.m. in the Silver Basin area of Crystal Mountain, which is located about 85 miles southeast of Seattle, said Pierce County Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Darren Moss.
The identity of the man who died hasn’t been released, but authorities say he wasn’t breathing after being pulled out of the snow and didn’t survive despite CPR efforts by another skier.
The other skiers in his group rescued themselves with the help of two witnesses who saw them get swept up by the snow. All were wearing avalanche beacons.MORE NEWS: Oakland Police Arrest Four in Separate Weapons and Drug Busts
While all of those caught in the avalanche were experienced backcountry skiers, a warning had been issued against skiing in the area, which was just inside the boundaries of Crystal Mountain Resort. The private ski resort determines the conditions but there is nothing that stops skiers from going there because the property abuts public lands in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.