Tahoe Daily Snow

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Windy Friday, Snowy Sunday...


Sun & clouds with a few rain & snow showers along with gusty winds Friday. A cold & strong storm with heavy snow moves in Saturday evening and lasts into Sunday evening. A drier pattern starting Monday through Friday the 10th, with the outside chance of a few showers Wednesday. Another chance for a storm around the 11th-12th.

Short Term Forecast

No changes to the short or long-range forecasts this morning (Friday). We have a weakening system spreading some clouds into CA for Friday and you can see the stronger storm forming behind it that arrives Saturday evening.


The winds are already gusting up to 80+ mph over the exposed ridgetops this morning from the southwest. That will likely cause some lift delays for some upper mountain lifts at exposed mountains through Friday morning, and then the winds slowly come down through the afternoon. 

Clouds and some sun for Friday with highs into the 30s. There is some precipitation on radar moving through CA as of 6 AM from a weakening front.


Most of that moisture is still forecast to dry up by the time it reaches the Tahoe basin during the day. We could see some scattered rain & snow showers later this morning into the afternoon, with the best chance being west of the lake up along the crest. Little if any precipitation is expected to reach the east side of the basin or areas to the south. 

The GFS model is the wettest this morning and only shows less than a tenth of an inch of total precip NW of the lake near Donner Summit.


Freezing levels are forecast to be around 7000 ft. through the day on Friday. With the very light showers, the snow levels could run near to 500 ft. below that, maybe down to 6000 ft. near Donner Summit if a steadier shower moves through. That means a light rain shower or drizzle is possible near lake level, especially west of the lake. Less than an inch of snow at best up along the crest.

Saturday Evening - Sunday Evening Storm:

Saturday we will see increasing clouds and winds ahead of the next storm. Some warmer air works in ahead of the storm with the south-southwest flow. Highs into the 30s on mountains and low 40s at lake level. Ridgetop winds gusting up to 50-60+ mph by the end of the ski day and continuing to increase into Saturday night. That could affect some upper mountain lifts before the end of the day.

The latest model runs are in good agreement that snow reaches the crest between 6-8 PM Saturday evening, and quickly spreads southeast across the bain. The heaviest snow should fall later Saturday night into Sunday morning as the front moves through. Then light-moderate snow showers into Sunday afternoon becoming more scattered snow and winding down Sunday evening.

Highs drop into the 20s for the upper mountains and low 30s at lake level. Ridgetop winds could be gusting up to 60-70+ mph from the west early Sunday morning, which could cause some upper mountain lift opening delays. Then coming down through the afternoon.

Not much change to the model forecasts for total precipitation The European and GFS models are still the wettest, showing up to 2+ inches of total precipitation west of the lake along the crest. The other models have a range of 1.1 - 1.6 inches. The total model average is around 1.7 inches along the crest with up to 1.1 inches to the east side of the basin.


The snow levels start out up around 6800 ft. at 7 PM Saturday as the snow moves in, but they drop pretty fast at the start and should drop below lake level near to just after the start. Then leveling off in the 4100-4600 ft. range for Sunday, and dropping below 3000 ft. by the end Sunday evening.

Snow ratios start lower Saturday night and then increase into Sunday. They could be sitting around 10-15:1 much of the storm Sunday from lake level up to 9000 ft. Not wet but not super dry either. Then becoming more powdery Sunday evening as the storm winds down.

Here is my updated snowfall forecast which hasn't changed much over the last few days as the forecast models have been staying consistent with the precipitation forecasts.


Generally 6-18 inches at lake level and 1-2+ feet for the mountains. The highest amounts west of 89 and up along the crest. The final forecast will be out Saturday morning.


We clear out for Monday with mostly sunny skies and highs into the 30s. Brisk northeast breezes gusting up to 20-30+ mph over the ridges. It should be a decent powder day behind the storm as the locals go out to find the stashes left behind by the weekend crowds.

Extended Forecast

No changes this morning to the long-range forecast as well. We are back into a drier pattern as high pressure builds in over CA, which could last through at least Friday the 10th.


Mostly sunny skies should continue Tuesday and again Thursday into Friday, with highs into the 30s on the mountains and near 40 degrees at lake level.

Wednesday is the one day we're keeping an eye on as a weak system moves through to our north and east. Most models keep us dry, but the Euro brushes us with some clouds, a shot of slightly colder air, and maybe a few rain & snow showers.

euro wed

We'll continue to watch the trends to see if we could see any precipitation Wednesday. Other than that dry through Friday.

The Weekend of the 11th-12th:

The long-range model runs continue to show a low-pressure system dropping down the West Coast the weekend of the 11th-12th. Some model runs like the latest European show the storm bringing precipitation into CA & the Sierra...

euro low

...while other models like the GFS keep the low just off the coast with the Sierra staying dry through the 12th.

gfs low

Looking at a combination of both the GFS & European ensemble mean models, they show the west storm Sunday and then fairly dry through the 12th, with only very light precipitation showing up Wednesday and again the weekend of the 11th-12th.


We'll continue to watch the trends on this as well. 

Fantasy Range:

The long-range models continue to show the pattern shifting into the 3rd week of February, with the ridge building in the eastern Pacific away from the West Coast, and a trough over the West.


We could see weaker systems drop down from the north into the west side of the trough during this period. If a storm tracks down just off the coast it could tap additional Pacific moisture, so we'll keep an eye on storm trends. Overall the ensemble mean models show near to below-average precipitation through the 18th, but it stays fairly cold.


The long-range models don't show precipitation back above average again until possibly the last week of February, as the pattern could open up a bit more to wetter storms as get later into the month.


We'll be watching the trends on that as well. Lots of trends to keep an eye on, lol. 

Stay tuned...BA

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The Flakes!

This week we talk about Where the Snow Is Headed as we reach the Mid-Point of Winter, catch up with Powder Chaser Stever to see Where He is Chasing Snow, check in with Zach Butler to see What the Heck is Going On with the Northeast's Winter, report the 5-Day Snowfall Totals around the U.S., look at the Snowfall Forecast for The Upcoming Week, and discuss The Long-Range Snowfall Patterns!