Winter temperatures, maybe snow, to return this weekend | SierraSun.com

Winter temperatures, maybe snow, to return this weekend

Sun News Staff Report

NORTH SHORE LAKE TAHOE ” The National Weather Service is predicting a drastic drop in temperatures this weekend and early next week, bringing frigid temperatures back to the North Shore, and with that, maybe some snow.

According to a NWS special weather statement, which can be viewed at weather.gov/reno, a high pressure system from the West Coast will move into the Central Pacific Thursday and Friday. This will allow for colder air to move south from Alaska and Northern Canada into the Lake Tahoe area, meaning temperature readings from Friday to Sunday could drop by 20 to 30 degrees.

“The initial blast of cold air is forecast to reach the area late Friday or early Saturday as a strong cold front moves into Northern California and Northwest Nevada,” the statement reads. “Ahead of the front … winds are likely to increase and may be strong at times.”

The weather forecast calls for chances of snow showers Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. However, those looking for a heavy Tahoe snow storm may be disappointed.

“There is a chance for valley rain and mountain snow along the front, but will become all snow in the valleys as snow levels quickly drop behind the front,” the statement reads. “At this time, significant snow accumulations are not forecast to occur in the Sierra or Western Nevada with the initial front.”

According to the forecast, high temperatures today and Thursday should hover around 50 degrees, with lows around 30. Into the weekend, however, average highs are predicted in the mid-20s, with lows in the teens.

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The cold weather should benefit Diamond Peak and other area ski resorts, when it comes to snowmaking. Last week, Diamond Peak postponed its opening (scheduled for this Thursday) to an undetermined date. While it will be able to continue making snow as the week progresses, it remains unknown when the resort will open with top to bottom skiing.

Last weekend, Northstar-At-Tahoe and Squaw Valley USA were the latest Lake Tahoe area ski resorts to open for the 2008-2009 season.

The two resorts joined Boreal Mountain Resort, Mt. Rose Ski Area, and Heavenly to bring the total number of Tahoe ski areas open for the winter to five.

Alpine Meadows, Sugar Bowl Ski Resort, Kirkwood and Tahoe Donner Ski Area have tentatively announced they will open Friday, with Homewood slated for Dec. 18.