Inversion forms at Lake Tahoe

Staff Report
A view Friday morning of the inversion at Lake Tahoe from a webcam Heavenly Mountain Resort.

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — An inversion has formed at Lake Tahoe.

Tahoe’s mountaintops are peaking out above the inversion layer Friday morning.

Inversions are stable air masses where cooler air is close the earth’s surface and warmer air is above, according to the National Weather Service.

A temperature inversion is a layer in the atmosphere in which air temperature increases with height. An inversion is present in the lower part of a cap. The cap is a layer of relatively warm air aloft (above the inversion). Air parcels rising into this layer become cooler than the surrounding environment, which inhibits their ability to ascend.

Air near the ground cools more quickly than air aloft. This is most likely when the sky is clear and the wind is light/calm. Cooling will occur the most readily in low places, such as valleys sheltered from the wind.

The service said a freezing fog formed overnight, but conditions should improve later in the morning.

The weekend forecast calls for sunny skies with highs about 60 and the overnight lows in the high 30s.

On Tuesday, the high temps drop in low 50s and high 40s for Wednesday and Thursday.

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