Snow expected, but not very much
A few weak weather systems should be moving over Lake Tahoe this week, probably dumping a couple of inches of snow, according to the National Weather Service.
“There’s nothing really significant at this time,” said Rudy Cruz, weather service specialist for the National Weather Service’s Reno office. “The forecast is for 1 to 2 inches up in the mountains and in the valley, and about 2 to 4 inches above 7,000 feet. It’s pretty light for a January system.”
That was the forecast for Monday, too. A little bit of rain was about all the lake-level elevations received by Monday evening, while places higher in the mountains got a couple of inches in the morning. Christmas Valley received one-half inch of snow.
Chains or snow tires were required on U.S. Highway 50 over Echo Summit and Highway 88 over Carson Pass.
A snow survey taken last week at a benchmark location near Echo Summit revealed the Tahoe Basin’s snowpack is about 24 percent of normal.
“It’s unusual to be into January and have very little snow,” Cruz said. “But our winter season just started in the middle of December. We’ve still got at least a couple months to go. Anything can happen.
“It’s unusual to be this dry, but we could be above normal in another month or so.”
Ski resort operators are hoping the series of storms expected this week will drop enough snow so they can finally swing into full gear.
Most resorts said their number of visitors were down over the recent holiday period because of below-average snows.
Officials from Homewood Mountain Resort have announced it now will only operate five days a week until the resort receives more snow. It will be closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
“Without additional skier and rider demand, we feel we’ll see skier visit numbers at levels which just do not make operating on Mondays and Tuesdays feasible,” said Jim Mitchell, resort general manager.
Homewood officials will continue to evaluate the situation and will reopen seven days a week once enough snow falls, he said.
– The Associated Press contributed to this article.
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