The perfect storm in Tahoe: weather and government |

The perfect storm in Tahoe: weather and government

R.E.M., the godfathers of the 1980s-’90s indie folk-rock sound, fronted a song where the lyrics cryptically asked, “Should we talk about the weather? Should we talk about the government?”

The song – which never made it past the top 40 in 1989 – was ironically called “Pop Song 89.”

In Tahoe, the weather and government are, arguably, the two most-talked-about topics in nearly every circle. From mop-headed ski bums piled together in houses along Pioneer Trail to rich folks wearing North Face jackets and turtlenecks, everyone here more than likely shares an opinion on these two subjects.

Skiing and snowboarding probably place third and fourth in the “most-talked-about” local subject category. R.E.M. is from Athens, Ga., not the Sierra Nevada, so they probably didn’t know any better when they wrote the song.

Hmmm. Should we talk about the weather, and should we talk about the government? Heck, yes, we should. It would be un-American not to freely talk about either or to not have an opinion.

The thing is, I’m not sure enough people are talking about the things that seem to matter to us right here in Tahoe. An unchecked government has led to a trillion-dollar Iraq war and tens of thousands of deaths. The world’s dependence on fossil fuels has caused the climate to rapidly change before our eyes.

But I digress.

Anyway, my fellow Tahoe brothers and sisters, here’s something to talk about: A winter storm warning is in effect today through Friday afternoon. And by all indications, it’s gonna be a rager.

Well, relatively speaking.

It may seem like a rager because it’s been a long time since we’ve actually had a rager – Feb. 23, to be exact. According to the National Weather Service, that storm dropped 9 inches at lake level and about a foot in the Sierra. That was the last significant snowfall. It’s been dry as beef jerky since.

Here’s what meteorologist Alex Hoon said about today’s likely dumping:

“Snow will develop and intensify by the afternoon and continue into Friday. It will be a decent accumulation. It all looks good.”

I told him the saying in Tahoe is: “It’sallgood.”

He took it under advisement.

Snowfall amounts from 6 to 12 inches are possible at lake level and 1 to 2 feet above 7,000 feet.

“Do you want to know about Mammoth?” Hoon asked.

“No thanks, man,” I said. “This storm is about Tahoe.”

So, we have snow coming. A decent storm, the government is telling us. And, speaking of the government, we have 410 days left until the presidential inauguration.

Please, talk among yourselves …

– Jeff Munson is the Tribune’s Web editor. He can be reached at (530) 542-8012 or

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