Tahoe Weather Geek
Saturday Dec. 20
The remnants of the latest Pacific storm system to sweep through the Sierra are moving south and east this morning, leaving scattered snow showers in its wake.
Showers could continue through Sunday morning but little additional accumulations are expected.
Sunday through Tuesday we should be under the influence of an area of high pressure, so warmer temperatures and clearer skies are likely.
It still looks like a Christmas Eve storm is possible but the details remain in flux.
A low pressure system moving through Northern California will bring snow to the Tahoe region late today into Saturday. Snow levels should be around 6000 feet, possibly rising on Saturday. It looks like we will see a few inches of snow around the Lake and maybe six to ten inches at the highest elevations.
High pressure will build on Sunday but Tahoe might still see some clouds for a day or two. No additional precipitation is expected before Christmas Eve.
A system moving into the area mid week now looks like it will take a more direct route through the Sierra rather than coming down the east side of the mountains and into Nevada and the Great Basin. That means a greater chance of snow for Tahoe starting on Christmas Eve and into Christmas Day. Snow levels should be around 5000 feet with cold air from the north still influencing the system.
Thursday Dec. 18
Today Tahoe will have a lull between mini-storms as one last surge of energy in the current series prepares to make its way from the Pacific into Northern California.
The next system appears set to split apart as it arrives, sending better precipitation north and south of Tahoe. But we should see snow by Friday afternoon and into the evening, without three or four inches possible above 5000 feet. At the highest elevations, we could see a bit more, perhaps 6 to 8 inches. Snow will taper to snow showers later Friday with perhaps some scattered showers lingering into Saturday.
Once this system moves out an area of high pressure will build over the west, bringing dry and warmer weather to the region through at least Christmas Eve.
As of now it looks as if a backdoor storm is on track to drop into Nevada and the Great Basin east of the Sierra late on Christmas Eve. It is always difficult to say how much precip these storms might bring to the Sierra because they are not crossing the mountains but instead brushing up against them from the east. So everything depends on how far west the edge of the storm drifts. But either way the system seems unlikely to bring Tahoe more than a few inches of snow. It should bring cold temps however, for Christmas Day and the day after, as cold north winds behind the system blow through the region.
Stay tuned for more details.
A modest storm system that moved through the Sierra Nevada overnight dropped a heavy dusting of snow around the Tahoe Basin and a few inches above 7000 feet. The system is moving out this morning and will leave some scattered snow showers its wake with some additional light accumulations possible.
These storms have been a nice addition to the snowpack but in a sense they are a lost opportunity because they have been drenching California’s Central Valley at a level out of proportion to the snow we are getting. Most of them have been sliding down the coast or the base of the Sierra and losing much of their punch before they get to us.
The next wave in this series of mini-storms is due tonight, when another dusting is possible.
Then after a bit of a lull on Thursday, one final push of energy will try to make its way into the mountains on Friday. This storm was originally looking a bit stronger but as it approaches the models are indicating that at best it will be more like the ones we have seen the past few days, something between a dusting and a modest deposit of snow, but not a big one. Snow levels will remain low
After that, starting Saturday, it looks like the high pressure will rebuild and we should see fair weather for the start of Christms Week and possibly through the holiday.