Arctic blast to hit Tahoe region |

Arctic blast to hit Tahoe region

Tom Cylke / Special to the Tribune

An unseasonably cold upper low-pressure system is forecast to drop into the Great Basin on Friday, bringing winterlike conditions back to the Lake Tahoe Basin. Satellite imagery has been showing a large mass of cold air gathering in the Gulf of Alaska early this week. This cold Arctic front is posed to drop south into the Pacific Northwest on Thursday and into the Great Basin on Friday aided by a strong 140-knot northerly jet stream off the West Coast.

Daytime temperatures, which reached the low 70s on Tuesday, are expected to drop nearly 30 degrees into the upper 30s and lower 40s by Friday. Nighttime temperatures should be in the teens by Friday night and through the weekend.

Snowfall amounts are expected to be light as moisture appears to be limited with the overland trajectory of this storm. Still, several inches of snow are possible with heavier convective snowbands or lake-effect snow beginning early Friday into Saturday morning. Look for brisk north winds Saturday with low wind-chill temperatures and possible blowing and drifting snow in the exposed upper elevations.

Those planning travel or other outdoor activities in the Sierra on Friday or Saturday should check the latest weather reports and road conditions before departing. Also, protect any freeze-sensitive plants or plumbing.

Now is a good time to disconnect hoses and shut off outdoor sprinkler systems for the winter.

– Tom Cylke is a retired meteorologist who has forecasted weather in the Reno and Lake Tahoe area with the National Weather Service since 1974. He can be reached at