Tahoe Daily Snow

Cold and Dry Becoming Milder Through the Week...


- Monday we have clearing skies with sun by afternoon. Highs only the 20's on the mountains to near 30 at lake level. Light winds on the mountains. - Tuesday is sunny with highs in the 30's. It may become breezy with an east wind of 40-50 mph on the mountain tops. - Wednesday through the weekend we have dry weather. Highs in the 30's on the upper mountains to 40's at lake level Wednesday - Thursday, and then 40's for all elevations for the weekend. - The dry pattern looks like it will continue through the end of the month. Then we could see a pattern change the 1st week of February that could bring a return of storms.

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Short Term Forecast

Storm Recap:

It's a cold and snowy morning in Tahoe behind the departing storm.

boot cam

(Sugar Bowl base boot cam)


(Top of Squaw)

The storm performed pretty much as expected yesterday through the evening.  We saw snow levels starting near 7,500 feet Sunday morning falling to around 7,000 feet midday, 6,500 feet during the afternoon, and below lake level during the evening.  Temperatures fell down into the teens overnight on the mountains and 20's at lake level.


The snow ratios were low yesterday with rain for the lower elevations.  That made for slow accumulations on the mountains.  The taller mountains like Mt. Rose and Heavenly did better with snowfall. 

Behind the cold front, heavier snow pushed in during the evening as the low rotated inland across Northern CA.  I was in Truckee where it was snowing pretty heavily.  Then overnight as the system rotated into NV the flow turned out of the north which is not favorable for orographic effects over the mountains.  I think that is why we picked up the low end of the precipitation the forecast models had.

We picked up the lower end of the forecast to just under at most ski resorts.  The forecast was for 13-26 inches from east to west across the basin.  The ski resorts this morning are reporting 13-20.  The totals for the week are now at 4-7 feet on the upper mountains and 2-week totals of 5-13 feet!  That puts us around 108% of average for the date. 


For the keep me honest scorecard you can see that most ski resorts came near the low end of the forecast. The exceptions being the taller mountains on the east side at Heavenly and Mt. Rose which came in near the higher end, and southwest of the lake below forecast as the storm brought less precip the further south of the lake you go.


At lake level, the forecast was for 5-10 inches.  I think we came in close to that with the ski resorts that do report to the base reporting 7-12 inches, maybe slightly less in some neighborhoods.  A nice little storm to end the storm train, with some good skiing this morning as winds have died down to only 30 mph on the ridges. 

The Forecast:

There are still some light snow showers around this morning but mainly east of the Tahoe basin in Nevada.  


High pressure begins to build in near the West Coast today as we go into at least a 10-day dry spell.

high pressure

We are cold today with highs only in the 20's on the mountains.  Then Tuesday still cold in the 30's but with ridgetop winds increasing from the east.  We could see gusts to 40-50 mph Tuesday making it feel a little colder.

Wednesday into the weekend we continue the warming trend with lots of sun.  Highs into the 30's on the mountains and 40's at lake level Wednesday-Thursday, and then 40's for all elevations for the weekend.

Extended Forecast

High pressure remains near the West Coast next week with a larget trough in the eastern U.S.  That will bring mild temperatures to the West and cold temperatures to the East.


It should also keep us dry through the end of the month.


The long-range models are still showing a pattern change for the 1st week of February with a trough near the West Coast.


The operational models are showing possible storms that week.  The CFSv2 climate model is showing increased chances for precipitation the 1st week of February.


So far this season the active weather seems to be tied to the active phases of the MJO (madden julian oscillation).  It is now in an inactive phase the last several days as we go into a drier pattern.  It is forecast to continue to become more active and move into the Western Pacific over the next week.  Then become inactive again in February.  There is a slight lag to the effects on our weather.  The long-range climate models show drier weather again the 2nd week of February.

Plenty of model rider hysteria ahead as we await the next stormy pattern...

Stay tuned...BA


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