Winds to bring snow tonight
An unseasonable cold storm system dropping south from the Gulf of Alaska will bring more strong and gusty winds today. Southwest winds around 20 to 35 mph will be common across the Basin today, with gusts to 50 mph in wind-prone areas and gusts over 90 mph along the Sierra Crest.
Temperatures are forecast to reach the mid to upper 50s this afternoon with increasing clouds. A potent cold front will push in to the Tahoe area this evening with rain mixed with snow early in the evening at lake level then turning to snow at all elevations by late evening.
Snow could become heavy at times late tonight into Friday morning as the front pushes slowly south across the area. Computer models are projecting around 0.50 inch of precipitation in the Tahoe area with snow accumulations of 1 to 3 inches of snow possible at lake level and 3 to 6 inches above 7,000 feet. Motorists planning travel in the Tahoe area tonight and Friday should check the latest weather and road conditions before departing. Allow extra time on your Friday morning commute to reach your destination.
A cold and unstable air mass will settle over the area on Friday behind the front with scattered snow showers and temperatures struggling to reach 40 degrees in most areas Friday afternoon. Some daily record-low maximum temperatures could be broken Friday if temperatures remain in the 30s. The record-low maximum temperature for the Lake Tahoe Airport is 43 since 1968, when records began, while Tahoe City’s record of 37 goes back to 1909.
The greatest amount of snow for Oct. 5 was 0.7 inch at Tahoe City, while Glenbrook has never measured snow during the first 6 days of October since records were kept from 1901. Record-low temperatures are also in jeopardy Saturday morning if lows plunge into the teens and lower 20s, which would be quite possible with clearing skies and a snow-covered ground.
Saturday will be mostly sunny but cool under a prevailing northerly flow as the low pressure system tracks east into Utah. Look for highs Saturday to reach into the lower 50s around the Basin. High pressure returns for Sunday with sunny skies and temperatures warming back to the seasonal normal of mid 60s by afternoon.
— Tom Cylke is a retired meteorologist who has forecasted weather in the Reno and Lake Tahoe area with the National Weather Service since 1974. He can be reached at email@example.com.