It’s not time to break out the ski or snowboard gear just yet. But the weather in the Lake Tahoe region is changing and November starts next week, so it’s likely Tahoe ski resorts will be opening soon.
On Wednesday (Oct. 25), flurries were visible by mid-day at Donner Summit along Interstate 80. Forecasters are predicting 1 to 2 inches overnight around mountain passes and as much as 4 inches could drop at elevations above 8,000 feet. However, most of precipitation in the region will be rain and the snow will likely melt by Thursday.
Snow showers are predicted to start at around 9 p.m. tonight, according to the Sacramento National Weather Service’s five-day forecast. A lake wind advisory will also be in place into Wednesday night.
“It is an early-season system, We don’t have cold, cold air yet, so the snow levels are relatively high, but it’s still kind of exciting,” a spokesperson from the weather service said.
Mt. Rose is projected to be the first Tahoe-area ski resort to open this season, announcing its opening day as Nov. 9. That date is only 15 days away. Mt. Rose is located off the Mt. Rose Highway in Nevada, approximately 10 miles from Incline Village in North Lake Tahoe and 25 miles from Reno.
TAHOE SKI RESORTS – TENTATIVE OPENINGS
- Mt. Rose: Nov. 9
- Northstar California: Nov. 17
- Heavenly: Nov. 17
- Boreal: Nov. 17
- Palisades Tahoe: Nov. 22
- Sugar Bowl: Nov. 24
- Soda Springs: Nov. 24
- Kirkwood: Dec. 1
- Diamond Peak: Dec. 7
- Granlibakken: Dec. 15
- Sierra-at-Tahoe: TBA
- Homewood: TBA
- Tahoe Donner: TBA
Palisades Tahoe was reporting 2 inches of snow Thursday morning and the resort says it has started snowmaking due to the favorable low overnight temperatures. Heavenly also received 2 inches of snow.
Prior to this week’s snowfall, a few Tahoe ski resorts have received a smattering of snow over the past month, although none of them currently has any accumulation. A change in the weather Wednesday should bring some accumulation at higher elevations.
Overnight temperatures are expected to drop into the 20s by Thursday and remain there in the evening probably until early next week, which means snowmaking could be possible at some resorts.
HUGE SNOW TOTALS LAST SEASON: Last year, the UC snow lab near Donner Summit recorded 754 inches (nearly 63 feet). That total was the second highest in the lab’s history, behind the winter of 1951-52, when 812 inches were recorded.
Palisades Tahoe had the most snow last season among Tahoe ski resorts, getting a staggering 723 inches. Not surprisingly, it also had the longest season with closing date on Fourth of July. That’s right, there was skiers and riders still heading down the slopes on Fourth of July!
The three Vail Resorts in Tahoe – Heavenly, Northstar, Kirkwood – all received tons of snow and also closed later than expected. Heavenly established a snowfall record with 592 inches and Kirkwood had more to celebrate than its 50th anniversary, thanks to record-setting 727 inches. Northstar received 653 inches.