Tahoe Daily Snow

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High and Dry for Now...


Mostly sunny skies are expected each day through the end of the month. Subtle temperature swings with highs in the 40s and 50s at times and 30s and 40s at times. Overall no storms are currently on the horizon until December.

Short Term Forecast

Final Snowfall Reports:

I was able to get a few ski area reports from the storm over the weekend, but most ski areas are closed and not reporting or have spotty reporting. Overall as we discussed on Sunday, the snow levels stayed high longer than expected into Saturday night, with most of the forecast snowfall amounts falling above 8500 ft. or above where most ski areas measure.

Mt. Rose reports from the highest elevation around the Tahoe basin and they reported 10 inches of snow up top Sunday morning for a storm total for the week of 17 inches. And that is probably what fell for mountains above 8500-9000 ft. Below that amounts dropped off fast with the high snow levels. A few ski areas reported 2-4 inches near 8000 ft. and storm totals of 2-8 inches.

snowfall reports

I had a friend who went up to the top of Mt. Rose to verify the snowfall. He reported barely any snow until he hit 8000 ft., a few inches up to 8300 ft., and then 6-8 inches up to 9000 ft., with 10 inches of fresh snow above 9000 ft. So the forecasted snowfall amounts basically fell around 1000 ft. higher than forecast for each elevation with the lack of cold air before the storm cleared out.

The good news is that there was cold air behind the storm and lows dropped into the teens and 20s Sunday night. The ski areas are making snow this morning in earnest.


They will have to rely on snowmaking through the end of November it appears as we are now stuck in a dry pattern for a while.

The Week Ahead:

Strong high pressure builds over the West Coast through Wednesday.


That will bring mostly sunny skies each day and highs warming into the 40s Monday and then 50s for Tuesday and Wednesday near lake level. Temperatures on dry days are typically a few degrees colder for every 1000 ft. you go up in elevation.

A cold trough digs south into the West on Thanksgiving Day but mainly to our east.


That will bring some colder air into the region with highs dropping back into the 40s for the lower elevations and 30s for the mountains. The cooler air could stick around through the weekend.

For snowmaking, we could see lows in the 20s each night, but with some inversions possible through Wednesday. That could bring warmer air to the upper elevations at night. Then those should clear out with the cold trough later in the week and could return for the weekend.

Extended Forecast

The dry pattern is forecast to continue through the end of November with high-pressure ridging near the West Coast and a large trough over the Eastern U.S. They had a pretty bad winter last year and deserve some cold and snow early this season.

dry pattern

The ensemble mean models agree that we will have a dry pattern with well below-average precipitation for this time of year through at least the end of the month.


Fantasy Range:

The long-range models have been hinting at the pattern starting to shift during the 1st week of December, and a stronger jet stream into CA would help. The European model keeps us in a dry pattern into at least the 1st few days of December, but the GFS model is putting a trough near the West Coast.


The deterministic model runs have been hinting at a storm dropping down the coast around the 1st-2nd. So we'll keep an eye on that. Most of the ensemble and long-range models try to start some undercutting of the ridge with some moisture into CA at some point during the 1st week of December.


There are some signs of a stronger southern branch of the jet stream developing into southern CA as well as we go into December. That would start to look more like a typical El Nino influenced pattern, which we would expect to start seeing during December during El Nino events.

The extended long-range models, including the European Weeklies, show increased precipitation the farther we go into December. They show the typical El Nino pattern for the West Coast with the heaviest precipitation falling over central/southern CA with a drier pattern to the north over the Pacific NW.

wet pattern

We'll continue to watch the trends and hope that things will get going in a big way as we go through December. Until then, we may have 10+ days of dry weather. Yawn...

Stay tuned...BA

P.S. My next post will be on Wednesday the day before Thanksgiving. Watch for the first episode of the season for The Flakes Podcast to come out by then!


Track incoming storms with live and forecast radar in the OpenSnow app.

1) Tap the "Maps" tab.
2) Tap the overlay button.
3) Tap "Radar" or "Forecast Radar".
4) Scrub the bottom slider.

The live "Radar" is updated every 8 minutes to help you track ongoing precipitation for the past 2 hours, while the "Forecast Radar" is updated every hour to help you track forecasted precipitation for the next 2 days.

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