Tahoe Weather Geek
Saturday Feb. 28
Snow. Real snow. Quality snow. It began falling Friday afternoon and fell heavily in spots overnight, leaving 8 to 12 inches of powder above 5000 feet around the Tahoe Basin.
A low pressure system dropping south along the California coast performed as advertised for once, and it’s still coming. The low is expected to track across the SF Bay Area today, leaving another 2 to 5 inches of snow across the higher terrain by tonight. Snow showers should be south of the Interstate 80 corridor by late this afternoon and south of Tahoe by tonight.
Sunday looks dry and partly cloudy before another system moves through on Monday. But that storm will be much drier. Little to no additional accumulations are expected.
Friday Feb. 27
A cold low pressure system moving toward California was centered over The Washington-Oregon border Friday afternoon, still on track to bring several inches of snow to the Sierra tonight and Saturday.
Some light and scattered snow was falling by midday around the Tahoe Basin, with heavier showers expected overnight. The snow should peak early Saturday morning as the low passes through Central California. Estimates range from a heavy dusting around the Lake to 4 to 8 inches above 6000 feet, with as much as a foot possible in favored locations on the peaks around Tahoe. Because the snow will be showery, those places lucky enough to sit beneath a heavy shower will likely have much higher snow totals than places not far away and outside the shower’s boundary.
The low should be well south of Tahoe by Saturday afternoon, leaving chilly temperatures in its wake. Sunday is also looking cold, but it should be dry.
A second low pressure system due on Monday will have even less precipitation potential than this one, so don’t expect much accumulation for Tahoe.
Thursday Feb. 26
A cold low pressure system moving dropping into California and Nevada on Friday is forecast to bring colder temperatures, winds and a good chance of accumulating snow to the Northern Sierra.
Snow showers are expected to start Friday afternoon or evening, with snow levels initially around 5500 to 6000 feet. Snow levels will drop overnight Friday to 4000 feet or even lower as the cold front moves through. This storm will bring the possibility of 4 to 8 inches of snow above 6000 feet, but because the precipitation will be convective — think mini-thunderstorms without the thunder — snow amounts could vary dramatically from one end of the Tahoe region to another. Some spots may well end up with just a few inches while a location not far away could see nearly a foot.
Snow should be tapering to showers on Saturday, with Sunday partly cloudy but still cold.
A second system is due on Monday, but that one will be coming south mostly over land, so it likely to be drier with much less precipitation. It should be moving out by Tuesday as high pressure begins to build again and drier, warmer weather returns to the basin.
Saturday Feb. 21
A cold front moving south from Canada into the Great Basin and will bring north winds, cooler temperatures and a chance of snow to Tahoe through Monday.
Any snowfall in and around the Tahoe Basin is likely to be light, with maybe an inch or two possible north of Highway 50 and a little bit more south of there. Mammoth and Yosemite should see a bit more as the low pressure tracks closer to the southern Sierra, with up to six inches possible along the crest there.
Temperatures should begin to rebound by Tuesday, with most of the work week fair and unseasonably warm under the influence of a strengthened ridge of high pressure.
A change in the overall pattern is in the forecast for next weekend, with a series of low pressure systems sweeping through the Northwest and into Northern California. However, as of now none of the forecast models are showing a direct hit on Tahoe, with most of the precipitation trending north. But it is early yet.
We’ll keep you posted.