Tahoe Daily Snow

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By Bryan Allegretto, Forecaster Posted 17 days ago April 2, 2024

Cold & Snow Return for the Weekend...

Summary

Mostly sunny and mild on Tuesday. Increasing clouds & winds on Wednesday with rain showers possible by late afternoon. Colder with rain & snow Wednesday night becoming snow showers Thursday and Friday. Partly sunny with scattered showers over the weekend. Then a drier spring weather pattern is expected for next week. Weak systems could return around mid-month.

Short Term Forecast

Tuesday - Wednesday Weather:

High pressure over CA will bring mostly sunny skies and milder temperatures on Tuesday. Highs into the 50s for the lower elevations and 40s for the upper elevations.

Increasing clouds and winds through the day on Wednesday. Southwest gusts up to 60-70+ mph by evening, which could close some upper mountain lifts during the afternoon. Highs are still in the 50s. We could see some rain showers reach the crest by late afternoon, with snow levels up around 8500-9000 ft.

Wednesday Night - Friday Storm:

The steadiest precipitation is expected with the cold front moving through Wednesday night. Then showers and scattered showers for Thursday through Friday as the low-pressure center behind the front drifts south through CA.

storm

The gusty winds will continue into Thursday but drop through the afternoon. Then lighter winds for Friday. Highs drop into the 30s for both days.

Not much change on the latest model runs. They still show at least half of the total precipitation amounts for the 2.5-day storm falling by Thursday morning, with a range near the crest of 0.65 - 1.3 inches of total precipitation falling by Friday night, and up to 0.4 inches to the east side of the basin.

wpc precip

Higher totals are expected south of the lake as that area is more favored as the flow turns more southerly on Thurday as the low moves through CA. You can follow Mike's forecasts for more details on Mammoth and Southern Sierra forecasts. This flow also tends to shadow the east side of the lake a bit more.

Snow levels start very high Wednesday evening, up around 8500-9000 ft, but they crash Wednesday night, down to around 6300-6800 ft. by 11 PM and 4000-4500 ft. by 5 AM. That's a 4000-5000 ft. drop! Then snow levels could stay below 5500 ft. Thursday & Friday, and dipping below 3000 ft. at night! Snow ratios increase quickly by Thursday morning.

With half or more of the precipitation forecast to fall Wednesday night, the snowfall forecasts are tricky as the snow levels are falling 4000-5000 ft. as the steadiest precipitation is falling. Thursday and Friday only 0-5 inches may fall in total on the mountains depending on where the snow showers move through.

Here is my updated snowfall forecast for the 2.5-day storm.

snowfall 2

That is not much snow spread over 2.5 days. We may only see 1-5 inches by Thursday morning with less for Friday morning. The wetter models show up to 8 inches on the crest Thursday morning. Overall the highest totals are expected south of the lake near Sierra & Kirkwood, and up to 1-2 feet is possible farther south near Dodge Ridge!

The Weekend:

The cold and unsettled pattern remains over the region for the weekend. Highs remain in the 30s with lighter winds. Weak systems moving through will bring scattered snow showers both Satuday and Sunday as well as partly sunny skies between the showers.

Some models show up to a few tenths of an inch of total precipitation over the weekend, with a dusting to an inch of snow possible on the mountains each day from showers, but the WPC's blended model forecast looks dry overall. Not enough to warrant a snowfall forecast.

wpc 2

This weekend is the WinterWonderGrass Music Festival at Palisades Tahoe. It is always fun to watch the shows with the mountain in the background and some flakes falling in the lights at night to add to the ambiance!

Extended Forecast

The long-range forecast models continue to show high pressure (orange) building in next week bringing back a drier and milder pattern.

ridge

We should see a lot of sunny skies throughout the week. Highs warming into the 40s by Monday and then 50s for the lower elevations by Tuesday. Much warmer for the West after a cold weekend.

warm

Some models show a storm in the Pacific trying to hold together enough to bring moisture into CA around the 11th-12th, which could bring some afternoon convective showers. Outside of that it should stay fairly dry through the 15th.

Fantasy Range:

The long-range models continue to show the ridge shifting east around mid-month with a trough digging into the West Coast during the 3rd week of April. That could open the door to weak systems moving through the region along with colder air.

trough

We'll continue to watch the trends to see if we could refresh the slopes a few more times with a little snow before the end of the month when most ski areas plan to close. 

Stay tuned...BA

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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