Dry October, early November, doesn’t mean Lake Tahoe is headed for a dry winter | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Dry October, early November, doesn’t mean Lake Tahoe is headed for a dry winter

A view Tuesday morning of South Lake Tahoe from Lakeview Commons.
Bill Rozak / Tahoe Daily Tribune

After receiving minimal precipitation in October, the Lake Tahoe Basin has less snow on the mountains than 5 years ago at the same time and the forecast has no storms in site.

But does having zero snowpack this time of year mean that Lake Tahoe is headed for a dry winter? The National Weather Service in Reno says no.

NWS recently released an image showing a satellite image of the Sierra Nevada surrounding Lake Tahoe with basically no snow this year, which is less than at anytime over the last 5 years.

The image with the most snow is 2014, which turned out to be a record dry winter in many locations.

The last 2 years, it was dry early and Lake Tahoe ended up with above normal precipitation.

Last year at this time, a touch of snow lingered on the mountaintops and the Tahoe Basin ended up having a strong snow season that had Squaw Valley open into July and Heavenly Mountain Resort opening on weekends into June.

Some ski resorts around the basin are approaching opening day and are receiving little help from Mother Nature. 

Making snow at the resorts will be more difficult with warming overnight temperatures into the 40s this week, according to Open Snow’s Bryan Allegretto.

He said in his Tahoe Daily Snow report Monday that it’s not uncommon to start November dry but says the long-range climate models show November ending with below average precipitation. 

He said we’re likely looking at 10-14 days of dry weather.

Through Veteran’s Day, Monday, Nov. 11, NWS Reno is forecasting mostly sunny skies with highs around 60 degrees and the lows hovering above freezing, with light winds over the next couple of days.

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