Tahoe Daily Snow

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By Bryan Allegretto, Forecaster Posted 1 month ago February 24, 2024

Weak Storm Monday, Strong Storm Late Week...

Summary

Partly - mostly sunny and mild for Saturday & Sunday. Rain & snow showers for Monday into Monday night. Drier for Tue-Wed before a strong multi-day storm is possible from Thursday through next weekend.

Short Term Forecast

We are enjoying a nice weekend with sun and mild temperatures. Highs into the 40s for Saturday and Sunday, and near 50 degrees for the lower elevations near lake level Saturday. Sunday we will see ridgetop winds gusting up to 30-40+mph from the southwest by afternoon.

Monday Storm:

The latest forecast model runs have slowed the arrival of precipitation until early Monday morning. We could see a period of steadier rain and snow by afternoon, and then showers lingering into Monday night before tapering off by Tuesday morning.

There is still some disagreement on how much moisture will be drawn this far north from the system off the coast as precipitation moves in from the north ahead of the cold front. The European model has the system off the coast staying mainly off the coast and south.

euro

With the trajectory of the cold front moving down to our east, we get lighter precipitation on the western edge. Some models draw in additional moisture on Monday and the NAM is putting a bullseye of heavier precipitation near Tahoe. Other models like the Euro above have only up to 3 tenths of an inch of total precipitation.

The wettest models mostly show up to 7-tenths of an inch near the crest and 4-tenths to the east side of the basin by Tuesday morning. The NAM shows up to 1.2 inches near the crest. The model average is down about a tenth of an inch this morning to around 0.65 inches near the crest. 

wpc precip

Snow levels still look to hover near to just above lake level Monday, around 5800-6800 ft. with any heavier showers dragging toward the lower end. Then dropping below 5000 ft. by early Tuesday morning behind the cold front. Ridgetop winds on Monday will be gusting over 100 mph, so expect a lot of upper mountain lift closures.

The snowfall forecast has trended down about an inch this morning due to the downward precipitation trends on most models.

snowfall

We'll take a final look at the trends Sunday morning to see if any other models are putting a bullseye of heavier precipitation near Tahoe. Overall a weak and mild system with a light coating of powder is possible at the end.

Tuesday - Wednesday:

We will see the winds drop on Tuesday and the sun come out, with mostly sunny skies for Wednesday. Highs in the 30s on the upper mountains and 40s for the lower elevations near lake level.

Extended Forecast

The next storm is starting to creep into the 5-day forecast window, but it could be a 3-4 day storm so it will likely be Monday before I start to look at potential snowfall details. For now, the latest model runs still show a cold trough digging into the West Coast starting Thursday through next weekend, about a day earlier than they were showing.

cold trough

A broad area of low pressure is forecast to be spinning slowly down the coast over the 4-day period. We could see heavier snow move in sometime on Thursday as the initial front reaches the northern Sierra, and then several waves could rotate inland keeping the snow going into Sunday before ending by Monday the 4th.

low pressure

We'll be watching the trends on this storm closely all week. This storm will have colder air with snow levels likely starting near lake level and then dropping lower through the storm as the colder air works south. The ensemble mean models show over 5 inches of liquid possible over the 3-4 day period from Thursday - Sunday.

euro ens

We have been tracking this -PNA cold trough pattern for the beginning of March for about two weeks now, and the models have been consistent in showing this storm over the last several days. If the forecasts hold over the next 5 days, we should be measuring in feet, and this has the chance to be a beard-shaving storm that could produce 3 feet in 24 hours for someone. 

I'm trying to hold back the hype, the forecasts will likely fluctuate over the next 5 days. But I'm pretty sure we are getting at least some snow by the end of the week into the week. Let's hope it's a lot.

Fantasy Range:

The long-range models are still struggling with the pattern during the week of the 4th. The European model shifts the troughing a bit east over the Rockies with any storms taking a drier track, and the European ensemble mean model shows a drier pattern overall from the 4th-10th.

euro

The GFS ensembles are holding the trough back over the West Coast during the same 7-day period, which would keep the door open to wetter storms dropping into the trough from the Pacific.

gfs ensembles

I'm leaning toward the European model with the PNA pattern forecast to trend back toward positive. We'll continue to watch the trends to see if the late week storm will be one and done, or if the active pattern could continue through the 1st 10th days of March. 

Stay tuned...BA

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About Our Forecaster

Bryan Allegretto

Forecaster

Bryan Allegretto has been writing insightful posts about snow storms for over the last 15 years and is known as Tahoe's go-to snow forecaster. BA grew up in south Jersey, surfing, snowboarding, and chasing down the storms creating the epic conditions for both.

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