In case you didn’t already hear the buzz or see it for yourself, Mammoth Lakes and Lake Tahoe were hit with their first storm of the season on Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2011. [R362R, Sierra-at-Tahoe] is reporting 13 inches at the top and 8 inches at the base, and [R227R, Mammoth Mountain] has 12 inches at the base and much more at the top. Snow is still coming down in both regions. 

This early start may be signs of a big winter ahead. The snow began to fall this exact time last year, and Tahoe went on to have a record-breaking snowfall year with over 530 inches. Lets hope La Niña, a weather pattern that involves unusually cold ocean temperatures in the equatorial Pacific Ocean, graces the West Coast with her presence again this season. According to our resident meteorologist, Joel Gratz, we could see a return of La Niña again in 2011/2012. Only time will tell. 

The snow is supposed to continue for the next couple of days, and then temperatures are expected to return to the 60s around Lake Tahoe. This early snowfall is exciting news and reminds us that winter is just around the corner, so don’t forget to get your season pass, wax your skis and continue to do your best snow dance.