Warming trend on tap this week with smoke, haze, thunderstorms possible

Staff Report /
The smoke is mostly pushing south and east of the Lake Tahoe Baisn.

TRUCKEE, Calif. — Temperatures head upward starting on Sunday and areas of smoke and haze are likely in the Lake Tahoe Basin from a wildfire in Yosemite National Park.

High temperatures at Tahoe will be 5-10 degrees above seasonal averages through the weekend, the National Weather Service in Reno is forecasting.

Sunday’s high is expected to be in the low 80s before rising to 88 and 87 on Monday and Tuesday, respectively. Normal for the time of year is 80 degrees. The forecast for Monday and Tuesday is still expected to fall short of temperature records set last year (92) on those dates.

High temps in the valley are likely to exceed triple digits.

The primary smoke contributor to the region is the Washburn Fire that has grown to 1,591 acres as of Sunday morning burning in the west end of Yosemite, near the famed Mariposa Grove of giant sequoias.

The weather service said most of the smoke is a few thousand feet aloft over Mono-Alpine counties northward to near Carson-Minden-South Lake Tahoe with air quality currently ranging from good to moderate.

“Some of this smoke could settle closer to the surface this morning, although yesterday a similar smoke ceiling dispersed after daybreak with no significant impacts on visibility or air quality,” the service said. “Winds today and Monday will be lighter with more of a north to east component which may keep some haze around longer, but any additional smoke pushes for the next two afternoons are more likely to remain west of the Sierra crest.”

To keep tabs on air quality, visit

The air quality map is showing the thickest areas of smoke pushing east and south of the basin with the Truckee area mostly free of haze.

Sunday is looking to be cloud-free while on Monday increased temperatures could lead to thunderstorm possibilities until Tuesday, the service said.

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