Cold snap was record breaking at Tahoe

Mt. Tallac and Lake Tahoe's South Shore basks in sunlight
Provided/Hannah Pence

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — The cold snap this week was record breaking at Lake Tahoe, but, except for a quick-hitting storm on Friday, temperatures are warming and skies will be mostly sunny into next week.

The National Weather Service in Reno reported that both South Lake Tahoe and Tahoe City on Monday and Tuesday recorded record low temperatures, with Tahoe City also recording the lowest daytime high on record.

The thermometer at Lake Tahoe Airport on the South Shore hit a record low 9 degrees on Monday, dropped to 7 on Tuesday and was at 11 Wednesday morning, which also broke the mark of 15 set 20 years ago in 2003.

In Tahoe City, the record low was 10 degrees on Monday and 5 on Tuesday. The frigid daytime high temperature of 28 on Tuesday also set a new record.

The temperatures across the region have been 15 to 25 degrees below seasonal averages according to the service but they rebounded closer to normal. Friday’s high is expected to be in the low 40s and jump to the 50s for the weekend and into early next week.

Travel disruptions may be a possibility Friday along the Sierra crest passes with a 60% chance for 1 inch of snow and 15% chance for up to 4 inches.

“For areas around lake level in the Tahoe basin and farther south along the crest into Alpine/Mono counties, amounts are unlikely to exceed 1 inch,” the service said.

A few spotty showers could linger through Saturday morning but overall drier and warmer conditions will prevail for the weekend as a ridge builds.

“This (will) allow temperatures to warm, dare I say, to above average values by Sunday afternoon with low 70s possible for western Nevada valleys and upper 50s across Sierra valleys,” the service said in the forecast discussion.

The service said the ridge will be short lived as the weather pattern turns “more progressive as a series of shortwave troughs meander across the west coast.”

But as is typical in spring, storm tracks could rapidly change but officials say to expect a cooler period with winds, High Sierra snow showers and lighter valley rain.

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