Tahoe Daily Snow

A Nice Refresh...


- Light snow showers continue Wednesday with another 1-2 inches possible. Then the storm moves out Wednesday night. - It looks dry for the upcoming weekend with highs in the 40's at lake level and 30's on the mountains. - The next storm tries to push in on Monday the 10th but may split bringing little to no snow into Tuesday morning. - Looking long-range the next possible storm looks to be around the 14th.

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Short Term Forecast

Update 5 PM:

Live forecast video from Sugar Bowl today.

I put the photos and videos out on social media as I shoot them, on the "Tahoe Weather" Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube channels.  Then later in the day when I'm back in the office I try to get the forecast video up here on the blog for those of you who don't use social media!

Storm Report:

The snow showers increased overnight Tuesday night as expected.  What is interesting is that instead of the areas south of the lake getting the most snow as the moisture came up from the south, the resorts on the north side of the lake picked up the most snow as the snow bands picked up in intensity as they moved from south to north across the lake.

radar loop

We were expecting 2-4 inches of snow by early this morning.  The ski resorts are reporting 2-7 inches.  So we have a couple overachievers.  The heavier snow bands were pretty narrow so they hit the ski resorts harder in some spots than others.  Homewood was the winner with 7 inches followed by Sugar Bowl and Mt. Rose. 


Some heavier snow bands were setting up along I-80 from Donner Summit to Reno last night, with Reno getting some of the heaviest snowfall with this storm which is rare for most storms.  It creates a lot of travel impacts down there.

reno cam

The ski resorts on the north side of the lake are reporting 4 inches at the base, which is above 6,000'.  Here is a look at the base cam at Sugar Bowl.

sugar bowl

Meanwhile, around the Reno area, there are reports of 3-6 inches of snow from 4,000-5,000 feet.  Our house sits on top of a hill around 5,000 feet directly north of Lake Tahoe and just East of the NV state line in Washoe County, to the Northwest of Reno.  We had 5.5 inches this morning and the snow is still falling this morning.

snow at the house

I have always wondered which one of my kids would get the snow obsession gene that I inherited from my dad, who inherited from his mom.  It looks like it will be my youngest daughter who is 4.  As the snow started to fall yesterday afternoon she was out in the snow playing for hours by herself and got mad at me when I tried to shovel the snow.  She's obsessed, haha.

We have another rare occurrence that I always track and comment on.  It is snowing at the Jersey Shore and in Tahoe at the same time this morning!

The Forecast:

Bands of snow showers continue to form south of the lake this morning moving north across the Tahoe basin.  That should continue at least through this morning as moisture continues to push north up the east side of the low-pressure system off the coast.  Then as the low moves south tonight we should start to dry out.

We could see another 1-2 inches of snow today based on the 2 tenths of an inch of liquid the forecast models are painting over the Tahoe basin.  But looking at some of the bands forming this morning we could see an overachiever again.

Dry Pattern:

High pressure is going to build in over the West Coast starting Thursday.  That will bring us dry weather through the weekend and slightly warming temperatures.  We could break in the 40's at lake level over the weekend.

Monday Storm:

The trend continues on the models of weakening and splitting this system as it moves into CA on Monday and encounters the ridge.  If you run the 0z European model run last night you can see the front slam on the brakes over CA on Monday and split before it reaches Tahoe.  

The European model is pretty dry now and the GFS brings in very light snowfall Monday night that I used for the mountain forecasts.  Here is a look at the total precip forecast by Tuesday on the Canadian model.  This includes 2 tenths from today, so not much moisture with the Monday night storm.


It looks like we could see another break in the storms next Tuesday-Thursday.  Some model runs show us getting brushed by another weak system Wednesday.

Extended Forecast

The forecast models do show a strong jet stream across the Pacific next week but aimed at Oregon.  So we may be on the south side of the storm track through the 13th.

jet stream

The Canadian and European ensemble runs have trended towards the GFS model in showing a trough moving into CA around the 14th.  


The GFS ensemble mean runs keep the trough in the Eastern Pacific near the West Coast through the 3rd week of December.  That is why on some of the recent GFS model runs it shows storms through then.  Here is a look at the GFS ensemble mean total precip forecast for the next 2 weeks.

ens mean precip

The European ensemble mean runs are trending towards the GFS in keeping the trough closer to the West Coast through the 18th.  But still shift it west by the 20th with a ridge building over the West.  The Canadian ensembles below are similar but faster with the ridge.


I was talking with a forecaster buddy yesterday, and he was saying that he thinks the GFS is showing a trough staying near the West Coast because it recognizes the MJO staying active through the Indian Ocean and into the Maritime Continent over the next 2 weeks.  That could be why the European model is trending towards the GFS in the long-range.

Let's hope the pattern does remain active through the 3rd week of December.

Stay tuned...BA

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