There was some rejoicing by skiers and snowboarders this morning at Kirkwood Mountain ski resort, thanks to 8 inches of new snow.
Kirkwood Mountain wasn’t the only Lake Tahoe resort to receive a surprising amount of snow overnight. Two other Vail Resort properties – Northstar California and Heavenly Mountain – both received 6 inches of new snow. Mt. Rose ski resort in nearby Nevada had the Lake Tahoe region’s largest amount with 10 inches.
Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows received 4 inches of new snow, while both Sierra-at-Tahoe and Diamond Peak recorded 3 inches. The other seven Lake Tahoe ski resorts were reporting no snow from Friday’s storm.
“It is great to see the weather pattern beginning to switch. Skies are clearing this afternoon, but don’t let that fool you, as we are tracking a much stronger storm for next Monday and Tuesday with significant rainfall and snowfall expected,” said Vail Resorts spokesperson Kevin Cooper. “Recent National Weather Service forecast models have the liquid totals (QPF) trending upward.”
Lake Tahoe ski resorts received barely any snow from Mother Nature in December. But thanks to low temperatures throughout the month, snow-making was prevalent and all 14 Lake Tahoe ski resorts were open for the Christmas holidays.
However, the lack of snow could change in January with the accumulation from the Friday storm and more predicted for early next week. Although the latest storm dropped new snow at only a few Lake Tahoe ski resorts, a more favorable forecast could result in much more snow next week at all Tahoe ski resorts.
According to Snow Forecaster Bryan Allegretto, before the storm moves out of the Lake Tahoe region Wednesday morning it could result in 3-14 inches at Lake Tahoe ski resorts. That would be the first significant snow accumulation for many Lake Tahoe ski resorts since November.
Another wave of rain is likely arriving Saturday (Jan. 6) and may result in no snow at lower levels. According to Allegretto, the snow levels should be at 7,000 feet and above.
By Saturday afternoon there could be 1-2 inches of snow at 7,000 feet and possibly 3-10 inches at 8,000 and above. Winds will again be gusting in the 50-60 mph range on the mountain tops.
Sunday appears to be the most pleasant day for skiers and snowboarders. The weather should be partly sunny with temperatures in the 40s.
Another wet storm arrives Monday and continues into Tuesday. Snow levels will start at approximately 9,000 feet on Monday and drop to perhaps 8,000 that evening. However, by Tuesday morning the snow may dip to lake level where 2-4 inches could accumulate.