Cold temps set records at Tahoe; Warming trend, weaker storms in forecast
TAHOE CITY, Calif. — The cold weather over the past few days at Lake Tahoe has been record breaking.
Weather stations in both South Lake Tahoe and Tahoe City on Monday and Tuesday recorded record low temperatures, with Tahoe City also recording the lowest daytime high on record.
The thermometer at Lake Tahoe Airport on the South Shore hit a record low 9 degrees on Monday, dropped to 7 on Tuesday and was at 11 Wednesday morning, which also unofficially breaks the mark of 15 set 20 years ago in 2003.
In Tahoe City, the low was 10 degrees on Monday and 5 on Tuesday. The frigid daytime high temperature of 28 on Tuesday also set a new record.
The temperatures across the region have been 15 to 25 degrees below seasonal averages according to the National Weather Service in Reno but this week they will rebound closer to normal.
The service said quiet weather will prevail through Thursday afternoon with light afternoon breezes and warming temperatures expected. The high on Thursday may reach 50, about normal for the time of year.
The warming trend will continue through the weekend with a few weaker storm systems expected to sweep across the region late Thursday into Friday followed by another system early next week.
“While quieter weather will be on tap, we will not be fully immersed in a ridging pattern this week,” the service said. “Rather we will be in a momentary pause in a progressive pattern that will feature several shortwave troughs that will impact the region through early next week. None of these waves show indications of being particularly strong, but may still yield periods of gusty southwesterly winds along with light mountain snow and valley rain showers.”
Ridgetop winds Thursday night into Friday will see gusts increase into the 60-70 mph range.
Snow showers will also accompany this system, mainly across the Sierra by sunrise on Friday. Travel disruptions may be a possibility along Sierra crest passes from Thursday night into Friday with a 60% chance for 1 inch of snow and a 20% chance for up to 4 inches, the service said. Accumulations down to lake level should be fairly minimal, with a slushy half inch possible as snow levels flutter around 6,000 feet.
A few spotty showers could linger through Saturday but overall drier conditions will prevail until the next shortwave approaches on Sunday. Again, this will lead to an uptick in southerly winds which could result in Sunday seeing the warmest temperatures of the week as western Nevada valleys warm into the upper 60s to even low 70s and mid 50s for Tahoe.
Bill Rozak is editor for the Sierra Sun. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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