Active weather returns to Tahoe this weekend; Another big snow dump on way

Palisades Tahoe being pounded by the latest storm.
Provided/Nick McMahon/Palisades Tahoe

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — The short period of dry and cool weather wraps up Friday at lake Tahoe with the active pattern returning this weekend and possibly another big snow dump is lining up for early next week.

A couple of fast-moving systems will bring a chance of snow showers this weekend with light accumulations possible over mountain passes, according to the National Weather Service in Reno.

The first from Friday into Saturday morning will bring light showers and slick conditions to Sierra roads. The second wave will bring light-to-moderate snowfall Saturday night into Sunday, including a couple of inches at lake level and Truckee and 4 to 8 inches along the Sierra crest.

Travel impacts are likely with the most impactful period being Sunday morning where widespread light snowfall is likely, the service said.

Officials are eyeing a stronger storm Monday through Wednesday that could see yet another atmospheric river dump feet of snow at Tahoe.

The service said the AR looks to impact southern California more than the northern half but the southern track leads to a colder solution for the storm over our region.

“Overall, we expect strong gusty winds with lower snow levels starting around 5,000-6,000 feet, and then lowering to valley floors Tuesday night-Wednesday,” the service said. 

Confidence is still on the lower end with snowfall amounts, but the latest projections show 1-2-plus feet for lake communities, 3-5 feet along the Sierra crest and 1-4 inches down to the valley floors in western Nevada. 

Palisades Tahoe reported on Wednesday that they have received 662 inches of snow, or more than 55 feet. It is their third snowiest winter since 1946, when the Central Sierra Snow Lab near Donner Summit was built. The resort will blow past the second snowiest year (671 inches, 1983) if the forecast holds. The snowiest winter came in 1952 when the resort received 812 inches, or more than 67 feet.

“There is still quite a bit of variance within the models,” the service said. “Either way, expect travel disruptions and exacerbated snow load impacts in the Sierra Nevada.”

Beyond Wednesday, the storm door stays open into late March with above normal chances for precipitation and high chances for below normal temperatures.

A snowcat grooms slopes at Palisades Tahoe.
Provided/Jimmy King/Palisades Tahoe

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