High Sierra enjoys the season’s first snow
Mother Nature brought a little bit of everything to the Sierra on Thursday, with scattered rain, hail, ice pellets and snow dusting Lake Tahoe and Alpine ski areas from Sugar Bowl to Kirkwood Mountain Resort.
“It’s covered all the mountains at the resort,” Kirkwood spokeswoman Tracy Miller said that morning. Much of the high-elevation snow had melted with the sun coming out.
But the excitement was there as ski resort managers prepared for snow in October after a dry September.
Sierra-at-Tahoe spokeswoman Nicole Cox said General Manager John Rice reminded his employees: “Remember, we opened this month a few years ago.”
Ski areas even had enough to open in October.
Unstable air will be with Lake Tahoe through today, with the chance of thunderstorms in the afternoon and high temperatures only reaching 56 degrees. The disturbance will give way to mild and warmer conditions Saturday through Wednesday.
Weather forecasts have been all over the map for the upcoming winter season. National Weather Service meteorologist Tom Culke said his bureau has studied records of years in which the region was going into a weak El Nino and found “equal chances” of it being a wet or dry winter.
“It doesn’t mean it will be a normal winter,” he said. “My advice is to get the snowmaking started when it’s cold, and don’t bank on a cold winter.”
The Farmer’s Almanac has predicted a cold winter for the United States from coast to coast.