Tahoe Daily Snow

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By Bryan Allegretto, Forecaster Posted 11 days ago April 3, 2024

Winter's Weak Return...

Summary

Partly sunny with increasing clouds & winds on Wednesday. Rain showers are possible by late afternoon. Colder with rain & snow Wednesday night becoming snow showers Thursday and Friday. Partly sunny with scattered showers possible over the weekend. Then a drier spring weather pattern is expected for next week.

Short Term Forecast

Wednesday Weather:

We will start the day on Wednesday with some sun ahead of the clouds moving into northern CA as the next storm approaches.

satellite

We will see increasing clouds and winds throughout the day. Southwest winds gusting up to 60-70+ mph by evening, which could close some upper mountain lifts during the afternoon. The wind could hit 100 mph on the peaks Wednesday night. Highs in the 50s for the lower elevations and 40s for the higher elevations.

We could see some rain showers reach the crest during the 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, but it looks pretty wimpy on the forecast radar (below). Then some steadier snow showers Thursday on the east side of the low as it moves south down the west side of the Sierra.

forecast radar

Scattered snow showers for Thursday night into Friday as the low-pressure system drifts south through CA. 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.

The forecast models have been pretty consistent all week. They show a range of 0.6 - 1.2 inches west of the lake near the crest and up to 0.4 inches reaching the east side of the basin. Higher totals are expected south of Tahoe into the central Sierra where 1-2 inches of precipitation is possible by Friday night.

wpc precip

Snow levels start very high Wednesday evening, up around 8500-9000 ft, but they crash Wednesday night, down to around 6500-7000 ft. by 11 PM and 5000-5500 ft. by 5 AM. That's not as low as the models were showing yesterday. Then snow levels could stay below 5500 ft. Thursday & Friday, and dipping below 3000 ft. at night!

Snow ratios start low Wednesday night and may only average around 4-12:1 between lake level and 9000 ft. overnight. Then increasing to 9-14:1 Thursday, and 14-21:1 Thursday night. The latest model runs show less snow for Wednesday night, around 1/3rd of the total forecast, another 3rd Thursday, and the last 3rd Thursday night into Friday.

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

snowfall

That is not much snow spread over 2.5 days. We may only see 0-3 inches Wednesday night, 0-3 inches Thursday, and 0-3 inches Thursday night into Friday. The wettest models show up to 13 inches near the crest. The highest totals are expected to the south near Bear Valley and Dodge Ridge down to China Peak where up to 12-18+ is possible, which is why they are in red on my forecast chart.

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 could bring a few scattered snow showers, but the latest model runs are drier and show the best chance being Sunday afternoon. We may see partly sunny skies and cold but fairly nice weather for most of the weekend.

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 maybe a few 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.

high pressure

We should see mostly sunny skies throughout the week. Highs warming into the 40s by Monday and then 50s for the lower elevations by Tuesday through the end of the week. A few model runs still show a chance for afternoon showers to pop up later in the week, so we'll keep an eye on that.

Fantasy Range:

The latest model runs have been trending toward a weaker trough for the 3rd week of April with the storm track possibly staying to our north. The GFS model still tries to dig a weak system or two far enough south to bring us some precipitation.

We'll continue to watch the trends to see if we will get any more measurable snowfall in April, or if it is game over after the incoming storm...

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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