Usually the month of November is very stormy for Washington State, somewhat stormy for Oregon and occasionally stormy further south to Tahoe. Unfortunately for skiers and riders, this November has provided below-average snowfall for the west coast. Most mountain areas of Washington are reporting 70-90 percent of average snow for this time of year. Oregon and Tahoe are reporting even lower amounts with 25-50 percent of average snowpack.
Thankfully this will change as we move into early December. A cold storm will hit Washington and Oregon with 1-2 FEET of snow on December 1st and 2nd. This moisture will then move south bringing at least a half-foot of snow to Tahoe. This forecast could be underestimating the eventual accumulations, which will likely be more as the computer forecasts are hinting at cold air that should increase the snow ratio and make for some fluffy snow for the resorts around the lake.
The forecast beyond December 5th to 6th is harder to pinpoint, but there’s a general consensus among many of the forecast models that snow will continue to fall for the Tahoe area and this should be a big help as they dig out of their current situation with a below-average snowpack. Think snow!
Joel Gratz is a Meteorologist and the creator of OpenSnow.com.