Winter on the Way?

Looks like the Snow Dance by the Washo mentioned in the last blog post worked…!

In the last few years a couple weather blogs have popped up in Tahoe. These are great sources of info. Compilations of pertinent weather maps, satellite images, high and low pressure images, etc. Before these folks were around each of us had our own little Bookmarked Weather Stations on our laptops. We’d check what we thought were the lead indicators and then surmise the week’s weather from there. During this time, we all heard about some guy in Mammoth who had a weather blog going and it was fantastically popular. Obviously some people up here thought it was our time and so now we have two main sites: TahoeWeatherDiscussion and TahoeWeatherGeek. I have no idea what kind of credentials are carried by the writers. They could be glorified bookmarkers – but they spend the time and I have to assume their base level of knowledge is greater than mine! Enough for the introductions – here’s a link and some copy from the Geek’s most recent post. Looks like we’re going to finally get something:

Oh, by the way, the Geek has an e-newsletter up for Thursday/storm updates – I just signed up…

Snow in Tahoe by Thursday night

January 18, 2012 by Tahoe Loco
Filed under Weather Geek

Remember winter?

It’s finally about to start, folks.

The leading edge of the first in a series of storms is moving into Oregon and far Northern California this morning. This system will mainly affect the Cascades and the far Northern Sierra, where a few inches of snow are possible.

The next system is due Thursday and should reach Tahoe by Thursday afternoon.

Snow levels will start out around 7000 feet before falling Thursday night.

It looks like this wave has the potential to drop about six inches of snow on the higher elevations and an inch or two around the lake by Friday morning.

After a short lull, the biggest and warmest storm in this series is on track for a Friday arrival. Snow levels will likely rise again as the warm Pacific moisture plume pushes in ahead of the cold air from the north. At first we will probably see rain below about 7500 feet. But snow levels should drop by Saturday morning as the front moves through, and that should be soon enough to deposit several more inches of snow around the lake. Above 7500 or 8000 feet we should see a total of about two feet from these first two storms.

After another break a third storm is due on Sunday. The forecast models are still in conflict about the timing. Some models show the next storm arriving late Saturday or early Sunday, and others not until later on Sunday. Either way it will be the coldest of the bunch, and it looks like it has the potential to give us at least a foot of snow at Lake level and a bit more above the mountain passes.

Beyond that things are murkier. One forecast model shows a ridge of high pressure building and the start of a drying trend, while another leaves the storm door open for at least another day or two.

But for now let’s focus on what seems likely: at least two to three feet of snow above 8000 feet, with a foot or snow below the mountain passes. That might be a bit on the conservative side. But we don’t want to oversell this and be disappointed if the big snow totals fail to materialize.

Have fun. Be safe.

Stay tuned for more details as the week unfolds.

Subscribe to our mailing list