LAKE TAHOE (CBS SF) — A winter storm warning is in effect until 10 p.m. Tuesday in the Greater Lake Tahoe area as Sunday marks the start of a five-day storm series in the Sierra Nevada, according to the National Weather Service.

Significant snow accumulations of up to 8 feet in higher elevations is expected accompanied by strong winds of more than 100 mph along ridges with gusts to 50 mph in lower elevations.

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Sunday night travel is expected to be “difficult to impossible,” and travelers can expect that “lengthy travel delays are certain.”

An avalanche watch was also issued, with periods of high avalanche danger from Sunday evening through Wednesday morning between Yuba Pass (Highway 49) and Ebbetts Pass (Highway 4.) These conditions are the result of heavy snow loading on an already weak snowpack.

The Weather Service is advising motorists to avoid travel if possible and be prepared to be stranded for hours. Those who must travel are advised to carry an emergency kit with extra food, water and clothing.

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Monday snowfall is predicted to be heavy continuing into Tuesday. Yuba Pass to Donner Summit could see 60 to 72 inches of snowfall by Tuesday night, with Tahoe receiving up to 96 inches at higher elevations.

Wednesday may bring a brief break in the weather with a quick moving system moving into the area on Thursday.

Call 511 for updates on the latest road conditions.

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