Tonight, another wet storm moves into the Tahoe area. Winds are projected to be over 100 miles per hour on our ridgelines. Normally, this would not be cause for a full closure, but the compounded effect of the incessant wet or snowy weather we have had over the past few weeks puts us in a different situation. We expect high avalanche danger and flooding effects over the next 24 hours and we need to continue to prioritize the safety of our guests and our employees. We will still be using this day to get ahead where we can, continuing to dig out and prepare for re-opening. Once the storm clears (on Wednesday), we will focus on getting terrain back as quickly and efficiently as we can.
Photo above: Nick McMahon, Palisades Grooming
Tonight, the final band of this wet storm cycle moves in with moderate to heavy precipitation at times. Ridgetop winds will gust over 100mph. Snow levels continue to be unpredictable; they will likely fluctuate between 6,500 (the Palisades base area) and up to 8,300 feet (above Gold Coast area). Tuesday evening, a colder front will hopefully turn the remaining precipitation to snow. These are the current predicted snow totals for Wednesday morning from Bryan Allegretto of OpenSnow, who writes our Weather Blog, but we could see these decrease depending on temperature:
- 3-7 inches at the base.
- 7-26 inches at mid-mountain elevations.
- 26-33 inches on the upper mountain above 8,000 feet.
Behind The Scenes of This Storm
While we’ve been seeing mostly rain in the base areas through mid-mountain, the upper mountains have been seeing snowfall. It is still wet and heavy snow, but it continues to pile up and bury our lifts and facilities up there. Let’s take a look:
We have so much snow below KT-22 that we are having to manually dig out this lift line with shovels every day after snowfall. Big shoutout to our Lift Operators & Ski Patrollers who have been doing this backbreaking work. Seriously — the snow that has fallen recently is so heavy.
Photo: Ben Leech, Palisades Ski Patrol
The Patrol Shack by the top of the Funitel.
With all of this moisture, rime ice continues to be an issue as well. Rime ice builds up on our chairlifts after wet weather events, and is created when droplets of water freeze instantly when they meet a surface. Our Lift Maintenance teams have to break all of this ice off manually before the chair is safe to run again. Here are some examples:
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