Tahoe Snow

Contents: Current Information | Historical Data | Daily Forecasts


Current:
Charts below are examples. Click on the image to get a current version

Season Snowfall Totals | SierraAtTahoe
Twin Bridges, Hwy 50 Elevation 6.224 ft



There are many ways to measure snow, snowfall, snow depth, snowpack water content. etc.
There are several agencies which report this information, from a variety of locations.
Snow and water content are important for California Agriculture.

Central Sierra Snow Lab - Donner Summit | cssl.berkeley.edu 2023


As of March 13, 2023 the Snow Water Content for the Central Region was the highest since the California Department of Water Resources has been tracking it starting in 1976-1977. 223% of normal
Snow Water Content History Chart | California Data Exchange Center | CA Department of Water Resources

Current Snow Water Equivalents (North, Central & South)| California Data Exchange Center | CA Department of Water Resources

| State Water Project and Central Valley Project | CA Department of Water Resources

Percent of Average precepition Map |Western Regional Climate Center (WRCC) - Reno


Historical:
Tahoe Daily Snow - Donner Summit Snowfall and Snowpack | opensnow.com 1879-2017

Total Snowfall and Maximunm Depth at Central Sierra Snow Lab
Click on the image below for 1880 - 2020

I did the following statistical analysis to determine if the rate of decrease is increasing (i.e. if there is more decrease in snowfall over the last 40 years than there was in the previous 40 years) and if there was more variation (higher highs and lower lows) over time (STDDEV: standard deviation).
Date Snowfall Depth
Av.
Feet
Decrease Std-dev Av.
Feet
Decrease Std-dev
1928-1939 35.5 11.7
1940-1979 33.7 5.2% 10.2 10.2 12.6% 3.7
1980-2022 31.9 5.2% 10.6 9.8 3.6% 3.3
Click on Snowpack Climatology at UC Berkeley Central Sierra Snow Lab for a current update.

Monthly Precipitation Report | National Weather Service NOAA


Forecasts:
Click on the images to get a current version

Tahoe Daily Snow Forecasts | opensnow

PalisadesTahoe | Heavenly | NorthStar | Boreal | Sugar Bowl | Tamarack | Mt Rose Ski Tahoe

Homewod Snow Forecast | opensnow


Homewood | Weather Underground


Links:
Snow Survey and Water Supply Forecasting Program | USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)
  Testing Site Map | USDA NRCS
Most of the following is old data.

January, February, March and the beginning of April are the best ski months.
1 year in 10 will have snow at Thanksgiving.
The end of December and end of April will have decent skiing 60% of the time.
Smaller areas close at the beginnig of April, larger areas stay open till May. See ski page.
1 year in 10 will have decent snow in May.

Earliest snow:
2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
Tahoe City 10/30 10/17 11/25 11/12 12/4 11/4 11/21 11/9
Soda Springs     11/4 11/12 12/4 11/4 10/14 11/8
Snow first gone: (there may be later snow with brief accumulation)
2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
Tahoe City       5/8 4/1 4/17 4/20 5/14 5/20
Soda Springs       6/4 5/9 5/12 5/17 6/13 7/1
See more about snow on the snow page.
Snow depth at California SNOTEL Sites at Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) of the USDA:
Locations: Google Earth: Tahoe City | Ward Creek | Soda Springs CSS | Rubicon 2
  Tahoe City | Ward Creek #3 | Squaw Valley | CSS Station Soda Springs | Rubicon 2
  Last 7 days: Tahoe City | Ward Creek #3 | Soda Springs (CSS Lab)
  Last 2 weeks: Tahoe City | Ward Creek #3 | CSS Station Soda Springs New
Note: Some data is shown in terms of water content for precipitation. The snow to liquid equivalent is the amount of liquid precipitation that is produced after melting snow. It can range from 5:1 (5 in. of snow for 1 inch of water equivalent precipitation) for wet snow to 30:1 for extremly dry snow. 10:1 is the commonly used ratio.

Snow Depth

New
Historical Snow Depths: Tahoe City | Soda Springs Snow Depth New

Soda Springs Snow Depth


Source: Western Regional Climate Center - Desert Research Institute

Snow Depth at various Calif. locations
Northern California at the National Weather Service by the U. Utah
  Truckee-Tahoe (KTRK)
  Lab near Soda Springs (5 day precip)
Meyers

More Snowfall Information below

Other forecast links:
Lake Tahoe Web Cams | Tahoetopia
See also Soda Springs Snow Depth charts 2006-2011


Snowfall

Snow Report Links on the Ski Page
Snow has declined as a fraction of total precipitation, from an average of 52 percent in 1910 to 34 percent in present times.

Source: State of the Lake 2009 - Tahoe Environmental Research Center (TERC)

Historical data from Informative Ski Reports and Other Ski Links by Tony Crocker
Tahoe National Forest Snow Report

California Snowpack Conditions (History of Snow Surveying) at the Dept. of Water Resources (cdec.water.ca.gov)
Historical Climate Information at the Western Regional Climate Center part of the Desert Research Institute (DRI) (www.wrcc.dri.edu/rcc.html)

Donner Summit:
Mon Average
Av. '61-'98
Snow Depth (in)
(Begining of month)
Soda Springs Castle Creek Donner Summit
Snowfall Depth 2005-6 2006-7 2005-6 2006-7
Nov 52 9        
Dec 53 32        
Jan 104 61 50 42    
Feb 57 89 96 38 56 26
Mar 77 95 106 131 46 82
Apr 51 79 142 60 109 42
May 13 26 142 48 108 19
Jun 0.7 3   3.6    
Note: 2005-06 had an unusally heavy late (March) showfall

NOAA/NWS Cooperative Observer Network Stations
COUNTY COOP STN NAME COOP
St ID
Div NWS LAT LONG ELEV
El Dorado Blodgett Exp Forest 40883 2 BLEC1 38 54 43 -120 39 53 4414
El Dorado Echo Summit Sierra Ski 42671 3 38 47 -120 02 7350
El Dorado Georgetown 4 ENE 43385 N 38 55 00 -120 46 00 3251
El Dorado Georgetown R S 43384 2 GEOC1 38 55 59 -120 48 03 3001
El Dorado Kelsey 1 N 44484 2 Klsc1 38 48 32 -120 49 15 2000
El Dorado Myers Inspection Stn 45572 3 xx 38 51 -120 01 6350
El Dorado Pacific House 46597 2 Pchc1 38 45 29 -120 30 12 3440
El Dorado Placerville 46960 2 Plcc1 38 41 43 -120 49 26 1850
El Dorado Placerville Disp Plant 46964 2 Pldc1 38 43 52 -120 50 46 1560
El Dorado Robbs Peak P H 47489 2 Polc1 38 54 07 -120 22 36 5120
El Dorado Tahoe Valley Faa Ap 48762 3 TVL KTVL 38 54 00 -120 00 00 6254
Nevada Boca 40931 3 Bocc1 39 23 00 -120 06 00 5575
Nevada Bowman Dam 41018 2 Bodc1 39 27 00 -120 39 00 5383
Nevada Donner Memorial St Pk 42467 3 Donc1 39 19 00 -120 14 00 5937
Nevada Farad 42972 3 Farc1 39 26 00 -120 02 00 5153
Nevada Grass Valley No 2 43573 2 Grac1 39 12 15 -121 04 05 2400
Nevada Harry Englebright Dam 43800 2 Hlec1 39 14 14 -121 16 00 800
Nevada Lake Spaulding 44713 2 Lspc1 39 19 00 -120 38 00 5155
Nevada Nevada City 46136 2 Nvdc1 39 14 53 -121 00 06 2781
Nevada Sagehen Creek 47641 3 Sghc1 39 26 00 -120 14 00 6337
Nevada Snow Laboratory Central 48320 2 CSSL 39 20 -120 22 6910
Nevada Soda Springs 1 E 48332 2 SODC1 39 19 00 -120 22 00 6883
Nevada Truckee Rs 49043 3 Tkec1 39 20 00 -120 11 00 6020
Placer Alpine Meadows 40140 3 APMC1 39 10 00 -120 14 00 6960
Placer Auburn 40383 2 Aubc1 38 54 26 -121 05 02 1292
Placer Blue Canyon 40897 2 BLU KBLU 39 17 00 -120 42 00 5280
Placer Colfax 41912 2 Cofc1 39 07 18 -120 57 02 2400
Placer Foresthill Ranger Stn 43134 2 Fstc1 39 00 35 -120 50 42 3015
Placer Gold Run 2 Sw 43491 2 Glrc1 39 09 12 -120 51 29 3320
Placer Hell Hole 43891 2 Helc1 39 03 30 -120 24 54 4850
Placer Iowa Hill 44288 2 Iowc1 39 07 05 -120 50 06 3100
Placer Tahoe City 48758 3 TAHC1 39 10 00 -120 08 00 6230
Placer Squaw Valley Lodge 48474 3 xx 39 12 -120 14 6230
Sierra Downieville 42500 2 Dwnc1 39 34 00 -120 50 00 2914
Sierra Sierra City 48207 2 Siec1 39 34 04 -120 37 22 4240
Sierra Sierraville R S 48218 2 Serc1 39 35 00 -120 22 00 4975
Amador Fiddletown Dexter Ranch 43038 5 Fddc1 38 31 25 -120 42 22 2160
Amador Salt Springs Pwr House 47689 5 Spgc1 38 30 02 -120 13 08 3700
Amador Tiger Creek Ph 48928 5 Tigc1 38 26 46 -120 29 57 2355
Douglas, NV Stateline-Harrash's 27806 x xx 38 58 -119 57 6250
Washoe, NV Mount Rose Highway STN 26554 x xx 39 20 -119 53 7370
Source: www.wrcc.dri.edu/inventory/coop04.html

Other

Precipitation:

Truckee River flow:
TTC - TRUCKEE RIVER AT TAHOE CITY flow

Snowfall Tracking Stations

Stations with Snow Depth or Snowfall information
California Data Exchange Center (CDEC) Station ID
Tahoe: (Map)
BWY - BROCKWAY SUMMIT
DMN - DIAMOND CROSSING
LCR - LOST CORNER MOUNTAIN
RP2 - RUBICON PEAK 2
RP3 - RUBICON PEAK 3
SQ1 - SQUAW VALLEY 1
SQV - SQUAW VALLEY GOLD COAST
TCC - TAHOE CITY CROSS Current
TCT - TAHOE CITY 1910-1977
WC3 - WARD CREEK 3 daily 2004-present
Donner (Map)
CC5 - CASTLE CREEK 5
CCO - CISCO
CSF - CISCO FLAT
DMS - DONNER MEM ST PARK

DNR - DONNER LAKE (SNOW COURSE)
DNS - DONNER SUMMIT
DP2 - DONNER PARK 2
SDS - SODA SPRINGS
TK2 - TRUCKEE 2

South Lake Tahoe Snowfall at USAToday
Month Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep
Avg. snowfall (in.) 3 17 34 44 37 36 15 4 0 0 0 0
Avg. snow depth 0 3 11 21 30 28 14 2 T 0 0 T
Average total snow fall at lake level is 14 ft. accumulating to a maximum depth of 2.8 ft.
The maximum depth at the Tahoe City SNOTEL monitoring station for 2004-2009 ranged from 4' to 5'-10".
Ski areas report average snowfall of 34-38 feet.
The 2004-2005 season had more than double the average snowfall.
Kirkwood reported a total of 66 feet.

Greatest Sierra snowstorms (1949-50 through 2004-2005) with storm total snowfall amounts (in.) At various locations

Can - canyon dam (plumas county)
boc - Boca (nevada county)
css - central Sierra snow lab (nevada-Placer county)
tah - Tahoe City (placer county)
grg - Grant Grove (tulare county)
                                     can    boc    css    tah    grg
   1.  Jan. 10-17, 1952             108.0   68.0  141.0  149.0   68.0
   2.  Mar. 28-Apr. 1, 1982          26.0   47.0  125.5   59.0   63.0
   3.  Mar. 29-Apr. 4, 1958          46.5   48.0    mm    98.5   69.0
   4.  Dec. 28, 1992-Jan. 2, 1993    74.0   47.0   76.6   57.5    mm
   5.  Mar. 21-24, 1995              32.0   26.0  100.6   74.0   59.0

   6.  Mar. 10-14, 1967              60.0   59.0   74.8   92.0   38.5
   7.  Jan. 31-Feb. 4, 1975          62.0   38.0   65.0   42.0   25.0
   8.  Dec. 27-31, 1964              46.0   42.0   87.2   77.0   26.0
   9.  Feb. 23-26, 1969              35.0   28.0   74.0   37.0   63.0
  10.  Jan. 27-30, 1981              24.0   24.0   72.0   40.0   48.0

  11.  Dec. 21-23, 1996              23.0   65.0   53.6   73.0   25.0
  12.  Dec. 29, 2004-Jan. 2, 2005    48.0   49.5   89.7   64.0    mm
  13.  Feb. 9-12, 1959               43.0   31.0    mm    43.0   64.0
  14.  Feb. 16-18, 1990              30.0   49.0   73.0   46.0   24.0
  15.  Jan. 20-23, 1997              34.0   18.0   73.4   44.0   35.0

Mm - missing data
Range at CSS 4'-6" (54") to 11'-9" (141")
--
Source: Public Information Statement, TUE JAN 01 2008,
from the National Weather Service  Reno Weather Forecast Office.

Links:
Warings and Alerts at the Emergency Info. page
Historical data from Informative Ski Reports and Other Ski Links by Tony Crocker