Let the Tahoe Storm Parade Begin

January 16, 2012

According to the national weather service, a significant storm is finally on its way to drought-ridden Northern California. That is extremely good news to residents and visitors of the greater Lake Tahoe area since it’s been the driest start of the winter season in recent memory.

Further drumming up excitement is the fact that experts say the storm expected to arrive later this week is just the first in a parade of stronger ones to come.

“The vigorous winter Pacific jet stream will give weary Alaskans a break and instead will make the entire roughly 5000-mile long voyage to the West Coast, bringing several wet, windy storms into the West Coast beginning midweek,” reported ┬áJonathan Erdman, Senior Meteorologist with Weater.com. “Each of these storms should bring soaking rain and heavy mountain snow to the Northwest, heavy snow to the northern Rockies, and at least some rain and mountain snow to thirsty northern California.”

While the brunt of the incoming weather will push to the north, this is extremely good news to both water officials and outdoor enthusiasts looking to finally introduce their skis and snowboards to fresh powder.

All in all, three storms are expected to move into the area starting Wednesday or Thursday – all of which are listed as “moderate to strong.” That is three more storms than the region has seen in almost two months.

In the Pacific Northwest the total snow fall will be measured in feet, not inches. The Sierra Nevada won’t rival the Puget Sound or the Cascades, but the amount of rainfall will be significant and mark a huge shift in the weather pattern.

“This should put a dent in the drought worries for at least parts of California, currently plaguing half of the state. Fortunately,┬áCalifornia’s reservoir levels are still high from a wet winter/spring 2010-2011, so, there are no long-term water supply worries just yet,” stated Erdman.

With a procession of storms expected to march into the area in the week to come, perhaps the blizzard conditions will finally beat away any long-term water worries. And skiers and snowboarders can once again parade down to the local resorts to enjoy a little fresh, natural snow.


Ski Season Just a few Snow Ball Throws Away

October 4, 2011

It may not be enough to hit the slopes quite yet, but with this week’s forecast calling for the white stuff in the Sierra, people got black diamonds on their mind.

“Snow accumulation of 3 to 8 inches at higher elevations,” stated a National Weather Service forecast for Wednesday, Oct. 5. “Snow level will be 6500 feet decreasing to around 5000 feet in the afternoon. Southwest winds 15 to 25 mph. Gusts up to 60 mph in the morning.”

With near 90 degree temperatures just a few days ago in the Sacramento area and high 70s in and around Lake Tahoe, this storm seems to be taking folks by surprise. In fact, the weather service reports from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration warned travelers in the Sierra not to take this early storm too lightly as it could bring heavy snow and strong winds.

While the storm may be fierce at times, warmer temperatures are due back later in the week. That means most of the white stuff will melt away well before anybody straps on a pair of skis or steps into a snowboard. Yet, the idea of it actually snowing in the Sierra has many people gearing up for the upcoming winter season.

Adding to the excitement is the news of Alpine Meadows merging with Squaw Valley. Not only are these two of the best ski resorts in Northern California, but both are on a short list for tops in the country.

“This was simply about the implementation of a vision,” said Andy Wirth, CEO of Squaw Valley. “A vision of something greater and pursuing a tremendous opportunity on behalf of our guests.”

Since the region in between both resorts is owned by a third party, it should be noted that users will not be able to ski or snowboard between the two. Come November, however, there will be a shuttle service running between the ski areas and connecting the two may be investigated in the future, officials said.

Yet, talk about ski resorts and snow fall in the mountains have people putting away their golf clubs and dusting off their skis. And since it’s still early October, maybe it’s not too far-fetched to, as Irving Berlin might put it, “dream of a white Halloween.”