The snow showers on Monday dropped a final 3-4 inches of new snow on the mountain. That brings the storm total to 11 inches, the 4-day total to 15 inches, and the season total to 118 inches.
We will see mostly sunny skies this morning and then increasing clouds through the afternoon. Light winds this morning and then ridgetop gusts increasing from the southwest into the evening, gusting to 50+ mph by 4 PM. Highs only in the 20s the base and teens on the upper mountain.
Tuesday – Thursday Storm:
A strong storm will be taking a position off the West Coast Tuesday night into Wednesday and will direct a stream of heavy precipitation into the Sierra. That will bring moderate-heavy snow Tuesday night into Wednesday morning starting around 6 PM. Snow levels look to stay below the base along with strong winds up top gusting to 90+ mph. We could see 1-2 feet of new snow on the mountain by Wednesday evening.
The question is then what happens with the atmospheric river aimed at the Sierra. The latest model runs suggest the moisture plume shifts to the south of Tahoe Wednesday with lighter snow, and then they shift it back north with heavy snow again for Wednesday night into Thursday. Then light-moderate snow Thursday night, with snow showers possibly lingering to Friday by Friday evening.
If we see the AR shift back north as the latest models suggest, we could see another 2-3+ feet of new snow. So we will have to watch the trend on the models closely to see what happens with the position of the heavy precip streaming into the Sierra. By Friday evening we could see totals of 2-3 feet at the base, and 3-5+ feet on the mountain. If the AR stays farther south Thursday we will see the lower end of the forecast.
Friday Night – Saturday System:
A much weaker system could move through Friday night into Saturday. We could see scattered snow showers through the day on Saturday before clearing Saturday night. An additional 2-4 inches of snow is possible on the mountain.
Expect delayed and potentially limited lift openings
Due to blizzard conditions, high winds, and covid-19 protocols, expect delayed and potentially limited openings tomorrow and throughout the storm.
Our critical operations like avalanche hazard mitigation, on-mountain transportation, lift maintenance, snow removal, lift de-icing and building/re-building mountain access roads will take longer because of covid-19 protocols. Examples of impacts include splitting teams up in ways that require more troop carrier missions than ever before, fewer people in equipment assembly rooms, staggered use of locker rooms, fewer people in lift terminals to carry out de-icing and reduced capacity of transport equipment.
Please remember, indoor capacity remains limited due to Covid protocols, so please be prepared to spend extended periods of time outdoors in the cold if you plan to visit the mountains during this storm. We recommend that you kit your car out with a thermos of hot water, lots of extra layers, and a good playlist, in addition to all of the standard equipment you should carry for snow.
Physical distancing and mask-wearing will be strictly enforced: A two-layer face covering is required at all times except when skiing and riding down the mountain. If you’re out there working hard in the powder, masks and gaiters will get soggy, so pack extras. Our lift line hosts carry extra disposable masks as well, so don’t be afraid to ask!
TRAVEL & ROAD CONDITIONS
NOAA has issued a Blizzard Warning in effect from 10pm Tuesday through 4am Friday. During this blizzard period, travel may be nearly impossible with periods of zero visibility. Winter driving conditions in the Sierra can change rapidly, leading to whiteouts, snow and ice on roads, and major traffic delays.
- Always check the NOAA weather forecast before attempting to travel to the Tahoe Area
- To view highway webcams, closure, chain control, and incident information in California, use the Caltrans Quickmap Website & App
- To view highway webcams, closure, chain control, and incident information in Nevada, use the NV Roads 511 Website & App
- To check the status of California highway closures, use Caltrans Highway Status
- For updates on Alpine Meadows Road status, please check our @squawalpineops Twitter feed
Travel during blizzard conditions is highly discouraged. If you simply must travel during an extreme weather period, here are some things to remember.
- Have extra water, food, necessary medication, and warm clothing in the car with you. Be prepared to be waiting for long periods of time.
- Carry chains and know how to use them.
- Do not leave the area without a full tank of gas.
- Become familiar with this list of Winter Driving Tips.
We may see a break Sunday with the next storm stalled just to our north. We could see increasing clouds & winds throughout the day.
Then Monday into Tuesday a stronger storm could move in with more heavy snow. We will be tracking this system closely and fine-tuning the snowfall and details as we get closer.
We may see a drier pattern build in starting around the 4th.