Mar 16 2012

Tahoe sets up for epic conditions

As has been the norm this year, the current storm hitting the Sierra is losing steam. That’s the bad news.

Snow-Forecast.com prediction for this weekend - Mar. 16-18, 2012

The good news is it is still one of the best storms of the season, and even though it may not leave 3 feet of snow on the ground down to lake level, it should still leave three to six feet up high (above 7,000′) as the mountains wring all the moisture out of it that they can.

The other good news is this is a classic Sierra storm that starts warm and ends cold, leaving a snowpack that is “right side up.” A lot of folks think the rain that has been falling down low the past two days is bad, but with two fatalities on the records already for the Tahoe area, a bit of rain should help to cure the snowpack and deliver us from the deadly consequences of a thin, cold, persistently weak layer lurking down low. But don’t rely on me about that – be sure to check the avalanche forecast and the fine print as detailed below the hazard rose.

What has fallen since last weekend.

So, if you’ve been putting off skiing lately – don’t. This promises to be one of, if not the best weekend for epic conditions in the Tahoe area of 2012. If you’re coming up from the valley though, don’t wait. Get “sick” and get out of work immediately and get on the road before the snow starts hammering. It is still raining down low, but by nightfall the snow level should drop to 4,000 feet and if you’re on I-80 when that happens you know the only thing preventing an epic clusterfest will be nothing at all. IOW – it is inevitable. So beat the rush and get your butt up here and I’ll see you on the slopes tomorrow!

Don’t believe me? Check out Tahoe Weather Discussion to get a weather geeks perspective and more background info on what’s fallen, and what is to come. And check out Snow-Forecast to see the blow-by-blow forecast in 6-hour increments.

© 2012