Tahoe Weather Watch: Jan. 24

| January 24, 2013 | 0 Comments

Ed’s note: Welcome to Tahoe Weather Watch, TQ’s brand-new, weekly look ahead to the weekend travel and snow forecast. We’ve teamed with www.nevadacountyweather.com‘s Giovanni Paredes to bring you this new feature. Paredes has been an official National Weather Service Weather Observer since 2001 and has operated a professional weather station since 2002. Each week we’ll look at resort conditions for the upcoming weekend, the chance for snow and travel conditions so you safely get to Tahoe and back! Without further ado…

By Giovanni Paredes

Big changes are in store for Lake Tahoe and the surrounding Sierra Nevada as a progressive, yet complex, weather pattern shapes up. A series of Pacific storms arriving Saturday is looking to bring anywhere from 6 to 10 inches of snow at around resort level (6,800-7,000 ft) with much less just above lake level. Truckee snow amounts are likely to remain on the light side and in the 2 to 4 inch range as the bulk of the moisture arrives with the cold front on Sunday. Not a huge storm and confidence is wavering on the snow amounts, as they are beginning to trend down as available moisture dissipates with each model run. Nonetheless, these are big changes to the weather and a stark departure from the warm temps we had this past week. The American weather model  (GFS) looks to slow down the action as the Canadian and European models were trending these systems to track faster, but now all the models are in agreement with a slower, colder yet dryer option for the Northern Sierra. This also means that the Central and Southern Sierra may pick up more snow this weekend thanks to a moisture plume ejecting north from the southern jet. We will miss this energy which actually is better for us as the snow levels would be even higher over Tahoe if this storm did hit us, so at least with this scenario our snow pack will avoid getting rained on. Folks over in Mammoth Lakes will appreciate this news as they often miss out on storms that impact the Northern Sierra.

By Monday, high pressure rebuilds with clearing skies into early next week.  A split flow pattern looks to return to Tahoe by midweek as energy remains north with an opportunity for an inside slider to bring back colder temps back to the basin but nowhere near as cold as they were the second week of January.

Traveling into the Sierra does not appear to be very hazardous if you arrive by Friday or  Saturday as driving conditions won’t be too bad until Sunday morning–when I anticipate chain restrictions are likely heading up over the crest and into the Tahoe basin. Temps will continue to drop into the weekend and the snow level could drop even lower, below 3,000 ft, by Monday morning, covering the lower western slope of the Sierra with light snow flurries in places just above Nevada City making driving conditions hazardous out of the Tahoe basin into Monday.


Category: Outdoors, Weather

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