Spring at Tahoe to start with warm temps, possibly record breaking

Overlooking Caples Lake with Kirkwood Mountain Resort in the background. the resort reported receiving 9 inches of snow on Saturday.
Mike Peron/Tahoe Daily Tribune

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — Spring has sprung and it’s bringing unseasonable — and possibly record breaking — warm temperatures this week to Lake Tahoe.

The spring season started Sunday, March 20, and will last into late June, but the temperatures this week will be about 15 degrees above normal Wednesday through Saturday, closer to average temps in May, said the National Weather Service in Reno.

But after the warmup, there is a chance of rain and snow returning to the region by the end of the weekend.

“High pressure is the main feature for the eastern Pacific and western US on Monday, bringing our temperatures back above average,” the service said on Monday. “A warmup will continue through the weekend, allowing highs in the valleys to approach 80 Wednesday-Saturday. The weekend closes out with a look at another system that could bring cooler temperatures, gusty winds, and rain/snow chances. Beyond, there are signals for a wetter pattern with cooler temperatures next week.”

The service is forecasting highs in the mid 50s Monday and Tuesday for the basin, before jumping into the 60s Wednesday through Saturday. The high temps are expected to approach record levels which would be 62 on Wednesday and 64 on Thursday and Friday.

The overnight lows this week are not expected to dip below freezing and will hover in the mid 30s. The service said mountain ridgetops may not dip below the freezing mark overnight which may aid in the spring snowmelt and run-off.

Winds are expected in the 5-10 mph range through Wednesday.

The service is eyeing Sunday as the next chance for precipitation. There is a chance of rain and snow with the snow level starting above 7,000 feet and lowering to about 6,500 in the afternoon. But overall, Sunday is expected to be partly sunny with a high near 48.

“Temperatures should begin to moderate by Sunday as the ridge axis shifts eastward and troughing develops over the eastern Pacific,” the service said. “While this will likely result in cooling temperatures, the prospects for additional precipitation are much less certain. Current ensemble cluster analysis trends are beginning to show a suspected drier scenario emerging due to the low splitting off and driving south before reaching the coast. While typical for spring systems, there is still potential to pick up some precipitation in the Sunday-Monday time frame, but it may not be significant.”

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