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Lake Tahoe snowstorm.

1494 Views 11 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  snowbummer
Two days away from our annual Tahoe trip. What's the latest on the weather Tahoe faithful? What are we looking at lake level? Am I going to need snow chains coming from the Reno airport?
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Bring chains- you have amazing timing- it's been horrible here but we're about to get our first storms since before Thanksgiving.

Tahoe Weather Discussion - No Hype Lake Tahoe Weather is usually spot on. Here's their latest report-
That’s the NWS 8000 ft. forecast for Squaw Valley which calls for 2-3+ feet through Friday night.

The trend of the models today is to delay the onset of the precipitation until later on Thursday and to lower snow levels a little. I have been looking at the so many runs of the forecast models today my eyes are starting to cross. It looks like we are all set for some good snow over the next 7 days starting Thursday.

Are you getting excited watching the snow falling up in the Pacific NW on the news or TWC? It looks like the first flakes will fly by Thursday afternoon even down to lake level. Most of the models keep the snow levels close to lake level into Friday morning, maybe just above near 6500 ft. By Friday morning we are looking for around 2-4 inches at lake level with possible mix with rain, 3-6 inches above 6500 ft., 6-9 above 7000 ft., and 9-12 along the crest.

A bigger storm moves in on Friday lasting into Saturday with lots of subtropical moisture. This storm is not looking as massive as a couple days ago but still lots of precip. Some model disagreement on the total liquid with the GFS models showing 1-2 inches and the Euro & NAM showing 2-3. Also some disagreement on the snow levels with the GFS maxing out around 7000 ft., the Euro 7500 ft., and the NAM keeps snow levels close to lake level the whole event. Let’s shoot for the middle at 7000 ft.

That is better than the 8000 ft. plus they were showing yesterday. Assuming those snow levels and splitting taking the precip average we could pick up 1-2 feet above 7000 ft. with 2-3 feet along the crest by Saturday night. That brings the storm totals to 18-30 inches above 7000 ft. through Saturday night and 30-48 inches along the crest. At lake level we should see rain that washes away the few inches we saw on Thursday and then as snow levels crash Saturday morning we could pickup several inches during the day.

Sunday we have another big storm that is colder with snow levels down to lake level. This storm looks like it could bring 1-2 feet to all elevations and another 2-3 feet up along the crest. Then there is another storm for Tuesday into Wednesday that could bring several inches or more. Total liquid through next Wednesday on the Euro is 4-5 inches over the basin and 5-6 along the crest. Here is the GFS model through next Wednesday showing 3-4 inches over Tahoe and 4-6 inches along th crest.Looking at Saturday morning and beyond for lake level it looks like there could be 18 inches up to 3 feet. Above 7000 ft. we could see 7 day totals of 3-5 feet, and up along the crest we could see 4-7 feet.

These amounts could still increase or decrease but that is the best estimate as of today’s model runs. The short term amounts through Saturday are a little more certain and amounts for Sunday and next week are less certain as they are beyond the 5 day range.
Things look like they could start to dry out by next Thursday as the trough in the Northeast Pacific digs to the South and West turning the jet stream aim just to the North of Tahoe. With the negative PNA however the storms may not stay away for too long. Stay tuned for continued updates as the storms get closer.
 
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