No more substantial snow for Tahoe likely until late November

Ski resorts in the Lake Tahoe Basin are in desperate need of a heavy dose of fresh powder, but meteorologists say the area is highly unlikely to receive significant snow that will remain until the end of November.

“We’re lucky to have a system on Tuesday and it might bring a little snow, but nothing major, not even an inch… maybe a sprinkling,” said Chris Johnston, meteorologist in the National Weather Service office at Reno. . “The rest of the week the area will be under a high pressure ridge.”

Weather models show the next strong signal for snow on December 1, but details are unclear as it is difficult to predict weather beyond seven days.

“I wouldn’t say a big storm, but there is a signal for wet weather by then,” said Johnston. “A lot of the forecast hints at some humidity over the Sierra on December 1st.”

This is bad news for ski resorts hoping to open their slopes. Tahoe Palisades noted on November 18 that it would not open on November 24 as planned due to “warm temperatures and the absence of significant snow”.

“We aim to reopen in early December, or as soon as conditions permit,” the resort said.

Heavenly and Northstar have also pushed back the opening dates.


“We are closely monitoring the forecast for colder temperatures, but Mother Nature continues to have other plans, which means we will be pushing our opening day past Thanksgiving weekend,” Northstar said on Twitter.

Temperatures must be in the 20’s for resorts to snow. Johnston says the early morning hours will be in the 1920s for the next few days as the weak system approaches the region, but temperatures will warm up throughout the week as high pressure builds up . South Lake Tahoe is expected to hit a high of 55 degrees for Thanksgiving.

Northstar said she keeps a close watch on the weather and is ready to snow whenever she can. “We remain hopeful that colder temperatures will arrive soon and will share an update on a new target opening date as soon as we can,” the resort said.

Dry weather is also bad news for California. The state needs a significant snowpack in winter to replenish reservoirs in spring and summer. The last two winters in a row have been dry, but we hope this winter will be different. The fall was promising, as two separate atmospheric river events brought much needed precipitation in October and early November.

Johnston said the dry conditions in November were not “super typical”. He noted that November 2016 was dry, and then during the winter months of 2017 it was unusually humid.

The winter of 2021-2022 will be marked by La Niña. Johnston noted that under this climate model, the weather in northern California is variable, meaning it can be dry or wet.

“Usually the Pacific Northwest gets a lot of humidity, but sometimes we can have some of these storms in California as well,” Johnston said.

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