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Tahoe deep freeze; Sierra braces for coldest temperatures in decade

First Alert Weather Forecast for Sunday morning
First Alert Weather Forecast for Sunday morning 03:01

TRUCKEE -- Across the Tahoe Basin, residents were bracing for the arrival Sunday night of some of the coldest temperatures in years as a deep freeze descends on Northern California.

The National Weather Service predicted temperatures to plug to minus-9 at Truckee, minus-7 at South Lake Tahoe and minus-16 at Bridgeport overnight. And that's not taking into account the wind chills whipped up by 50 mph winds.

It will be even colder at the ski resorts across the region that are over 7,000 feet.

"This afternoon will begin the temperature tumble, and the gusty northeast winds of 30-45 mph will create some unpleasant wind chills, choppy lakes and impacts to backcountry recreation," forecasters said.

"The cold air that will be accessed on the backside of the trough will bring some of the coldest air to visit the region in 5-10 years," they added.

The Reno NWS forecasters added one last jab -- "The forecast high of 26 degrees in Reno on Monday is actually colder than the forecast high of 27 degrees at McMurdo Station, Antarctica!"

In the Bay Area, the weather service issued a wind advisory for part of the North Bay starting Sunday afternoon. 

The advisory coincides with a freeze watch, which will contribute to cold overnight temperatures in the North Bay interior valleys and North Bay interior mountains. 

Gusts of up to 70 mph are forecast at peaks and temperatures overnight Sunday into Monday will be near freezing, which will create threats to life and property, according to the Weather Service.

Marin County has activated its emergency shelter in San Rafael for Sunday and Monday nights, as temperatures are forecast to be at or below freezing. 

In response to a freeze warning from the National Weather Service, the county will operate its shelter at the Marin Health and Wellness Campus, located at 3240 Kerner Blvd., in San Rafael, from 5 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. on both nights. 

Individuals are encouraged to sign in by 8:30 p.m. if staying for the night. 

The shelter is being run in conjunction with Episcopal Community Services of San Francisco. Volunteers are not currently needed or being accepted at the shelter, according to a news release from the county's department of health and human services.  

Marin County activates its severe weather emergency shelter when temperatures are forecast to drop below a nighttime average of 38 degrees for at least three days.

Santa Clara County officials are also opening multiple warming centers for vulnerable residents.

County officials encourage residents to take precautionary measures against hypothermia by seeking out warming shelters if they need them. 

County libraries are serving as warming centers during the daytime. 

Unhoused residents in San Jose can also reach out to the county to find an overnight warming location bed by calling (408) 539-2105 or by emailing

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