The National Weather Service in Reno has issued an avalanche warning and winter weather advisory for much of the Sierra Nevada, including Lake Tahoe into Tuesday morning.

The service says a storm moving into the Tahoe Basin on Monday will bring heavy snow and gale-force winds that will create dangerous avalanche conditions in the backcountry.

A winter weather advisory remains in effect until 4 a.m. Tuesday for the Tahoe area as far south as Mammoth Lakes and as far north as Portola and Susanville, California.

As much as 18 inches of snow is expected at elevations higher than 7,000 feet, with 2 to 8 inches below 6,000 feet. Winds could be gusting as high as 55 mph and more than 100 mph at times over Sierra ridges.

The heaviest snow is expected between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday, with bands of snow showers continuing into the evening.

The service says travel could become very difficult. Strong winds could down trees limbs and power lines.

Snow could fall at rates up to 2 inches per hour north of Tahoe, causing localized whiteout conditions over mountain passes at times.

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By Richard Moran

Richard Moran loves to write about sports with the Golden State Online. Before that, he worked as a senior writer at ESPN. Richard grew up in San Diego and graduated from the University of San Diego in 2004, after which he worked as an editor for five years.

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