Snow in June? It rarely happens in Lake Tahoe. But the famed Lake Tahoe region may have received up to 12 inches of snow in some places by Monday morning.
Thanks to a low-pressure system from the Pacific, the Sierra mountain range in Lake Tahoe started to receive light flurries late Sunday afternoon and by midnight it was coming down pretty hard.
According to the National Weather Office in Reno, the snow varied from a half inch at lake level to as much as 12 inches at elevations above 8,000.
There was reportedly an estimated 3 to 5 inches around the northern Sierra.
Unfortunately, the snow wasn’t accessed by any skiers or snowboarders at Squaw Valley. Still operating lifts, Squaw was open this Saturday and Sunday, but didn’t open the mountain Monday for skiing or riding.
However, the snow was still a welcome sight at Squaw. The famed Olympic hill will be open weekends through the July 4th holiday and beyond.
On Monday, Squaw Valley reported 2 inches at 6,000 feet and 4 inches at 8,200 feet.
“We’ll take whatever we can get. It adds to our season totals, which helps us go as long as we can,” Squaw spokesperson Sam Kieckhefer told the San Francisco Chronicle on Monday.
Following the Fourth of July weekend, Squaw then switches to Saturdays only as long as conditions permit. Squaw plans to operate the Shirley Lake Express chair on Saturdays for 2017-18 Tahoe Super Passholders. Discounted daily lift tickets will also be available.
According to the National Weather Office, a June snow happens around every 5-10 years. The last time snow dropped this late in the spring was June 6, 2011. There was reportedly 4 inches of snow in 2011 at Daggett Pass in Nevada.
The temperatures this weekend in Lake Tahoe were unseasonably low with highs only reaching the 40s and 50s. The lows were in the 30s, resulting in the rare snow.
The snow had ramifications for drivers in the Sierra. Chains were required overnight on Interstate 80 over Donner Pass and restrictions reportedly weren’t lifted until around 6:30 a.m. on Monday.
If you missed the storm system, don’t expect to see it return anytime soon. The system departed Monday morning, and temperature highs are forecast to be in the 60s in Lake Tahoe and in the 70s in Reno by Tuesday.
Squaw Valley was one of three Lake Tahoe ski resorts that offered skiing and snowboarding for the Memorial Day weekend. Also open were Mt. Rose ski resort in Nevada and Donner Ski Ranch. Both resorts closed May 29.