It’s been an epic week of snowfall in Tahoe, with area ski resorts receiving 4 to nearly 7 feet of snow.
A welcome sight indeed, the 14 Tahoe ski resorts painted white with the fresh snow piling up in drifts that could cover an NBA 7-foot center.
The snow is so deep right now at Tahoe ski resorts that some are jokingly referring to this month “JanuBuried.”
Major storms that drop huge amounts of snow on the gorgeous Lake Tahoe region are nothing new. Historically, they’ve happened for a long time.
However, as we note in the remainder of this story below, the storms that rolled through Tahoe in February of 2019 were some of the largest ever.
It left a lasting impression on Tahoe residents and its many visiting skiers and snowboarders. In fact, the month was so spectacular in terms of snow – one resort recorded a monstrous 26 feet over those 28 days – that it became known as FebruBuried around the Tahoe Basin.
AMAZING SNOW TOTALS: The 313 inches Squaw Valley ski resort accumulated in February 2019 were the most among Tahoe ski resort that season. By the end of February, Squaw Valley had 580 total inches, at the time the second most snow among all North American ski resorts.
“We have smashed our previous February record by over 100 inches, and we have also blown away our previous month snowfall record from January 2017 by 18 inches,” said Squaw Valley spokesperson Alex Spychalsky.
But Squaw certainly had some company. The Vail Resorts in Tahoe – Heavenly, Northstar, Kirkwood – all had staggering snow totals that February. Northstar received 286 inches of snow, Kirkwood recorded 271 inches and Heavenly’s monthly total was 269 inches.
“This is a truly an unforgettable season,” said Mike Goar, the vice president and chief operating officer of Vail Resorts in Tahoe in 2019.
SEASON SNOW TOTALS OFF THE CHARTS: All 14 Tahoe ski resorts were giddy over the snow totals.
And by early March, all of them announced they would be extending the ski season. Squaw Valley led the way there too, staying open for skiing and riding until July 7.
By the first few days of March, the 500-inch snow club in Tahoe included five other Tahoe ski resorts – Homewood Mountain (563), Sugar Bowl (561), Northstar California (549), Boreal Mountain (539), and Kirkwood Mountain (526). The totals were notable for any ski season, but these were accumulated as of Feb. 28!
“February has literally been one for the record books. We’re on track to exceed our annual average snowfall (for the season),” Sugar Bowl spokesman Jon Slaughter said. “This is the type of season that dreams are made of.”
The good news was skiers and riders had lots of glorious powder days where the snow was knee deep or even higher. The bad that came along with the extreme weather was freeways and local Tahoe roads were often tough to navigate. Severe winds were also an issue, causing a fair amount of lift closures.
Yet, overall it set up some fantastic skiing and riding at Tahoe ski resorts where the snow slowed down, but didn’t stop in March and April. And skiing lasted into May at multiple resorts.
Indeed, FebruBuried was a fitting name for what happen at Tahoe ski resorts in February 2019.
TAHOE SNOW REPORT (week of Jan. 24-30, 2021)
- Sierra-at-Tahoe: 81 inches
- Soda Springs: 80 inches
- Boreal: 79 inches
- Kirkwood: 78 inches
- Alpine Meadows: 76 inches
- Squaw Valley: 75 inches
- Homewood: 75 inches
- Tahoe Donner: 71 inches
- Northstar: 67 inches
- Mt. Rose: 67 inches
- Diamond Peak: 51 inches
- Heavenly: 47 inches