Lake Tahoe’s chilly waters may only appeal to the bravest swimmers this early in the year, but the recent wave of warm weather was enough to draw crowds to the lake’s beaches and enjoy the view.
Temperatures reached the mid-70s this week, prompting people to hit the beach to tan, play in the sand or dip their toes in the 50-degree water.
Normal high temperatures for South Lake Tahoe are about 63 degrees this time of year, but fluctuation is common.
“We hit the perfect week, didn’t we?” said Los Angeles resident Thanks Silachai, who on Thursday sat in a paddleboat on the lake. “It was 110 (degrees) back home.”
Temperatures jumped nearly 20 degrees since Sunday, and the full heat of the sun could be felt all week in the almost cloudless sky.
Many people wanted to take advantage of the weather — a fickle thing in Tahoe — before cold temperatures and rain returned.
“I’m not complaining about this,” Silachai said. “We’ve done plenty of hiking and came to the beach — the weather’s perfect for it.”
Many tourists were happy to find warm weather in the region, but they weren’t the only ones. Marinas reported that higher temperatures increased migration to the lake, which in turn provided a boost in business.
Chad Holdren, front desk supervisor at the Tahoe Keys Marina, said Thursday was the busiest day at the marina in the past six months.
“We were way busy yesterday, absolutely,” he said Friday, adding. “We’re starting to see our fair share of locals coming out to see the lake.”
The weather might have led to more boats being launched this week, but boaters may want to use caution today as winds pick up and cause 2- to 3-foot waves on the lake, said Jon Mittlestadt, forecaster with the National Weather Service.
“Those kinds of conditions are dangerous for small boats,” he said. “Small watercraft could capsize in those waves.”
Additionally, temperatures are expected to drop again over the weekend until hitting the upper 50s by Monday. There’s a chance of rain and thunderstorms early next week.
As for weather forecasts on Memorial Day weekend, Mittlestadt said it’s “too early to call.”