Tahoe wakes to snowfall | TheUnion.com

Tahoe wakes to snowfall

Jimmy Griffin snapped this image from his deck Monday morning in Truckee, where several inches of snow fell overnight Sunday.
Submitted by Jim Griffin |

Winter is back at Lake Tahoe — and residents couldn’t be more pleased.

A winter weather advisory ended at noon Monday for the greater Truckee/Tahoe region with as much as 6 to 10 inches of snow above 7,000 feet, according to the National Weather Service in Reno. Three to 6 inches had been predicted at lake level.

As much as 6 to 18 inches fell overnight Sunday in the High Sierra, according to various weather and ski resort reports.

“Snow will wind down from north to south the next couple of (hours),” according to a post Monday morning from Tahoe snow forecaster Bryan Allegretto. “We’ll have to watch the wrap-around bands as they form today into tonight.”

Flurries were possible into Monday evening, according to the National Weather Service. Scattered snow showers were predicted in Truckee before 11 a.m., followed by a slight chance of rain and snow showers.

“This system has been interesting, as a week ago we were pretty confident it would stay mostly to our east,” Allegretto wrote late Sunday evening. “The European model won this round as it was the first to suggest the more westward track. I definitely like storms like this that look more impressive the closer they get.”

This marks the first significant snow of the 2013-14 season for Tahoe, outside of an upper-elevation dusting Sept. 21 — which also was the evening prior to the inaugural Ironman Lake Tahoe.

On Monday afternoon, Sugar Bowl Ski Resort, located in Norden at Donner Summit, reported as much as 14 to 18 inches of fresh snow.

On Lake Tahoe’s North Shore, Alpine Meadows Ski Resort officials reported 10 inches had fallen overnight at the mountain’s base, with 14 inches at upper mountain. Neighboring Squaw Valley, meanwhile, received 5 inches of snow at the base and 10 inches at upper mountain.

Northstar California officials on Monday reported 12 inches of snow fell at the resort’s summit overnight with 10 inches recorded at mid-mountain.

“Winter is here,” Director of Mountain Operations Jim Larmore said in a statement. “The conditions are allowing us to start making snow a little earlier than we’d planned to. We’re firing up the snowmaking guns today to complement the natural snow this storm has brought so we can take full advantage of our systems.”

Heavenly Mountain Resort on Lake Tahoe’s South Shore, which reported 6-8 inches of snow overnight, also has begun snowmaking operations, officials said Monday.

“We’ve enjoyed a long fall season, but with the drop in temperature, it’s time to focus on preparing for winter and begin making snow, ensuring we have the quality early season conditions our guests have come to expect from us,” said Pete Sonntag, vice president and chief operating officer of Heavenly, in a statement. “There is something about this time of year leading up to the winter season. It holds so much promise, and you can feel the anticipation building in the community and among our staff.”

The weather had residents taking to social media early Monday to express their desires for a strong season after lackluster winters each of the past two years.

South Lake Tahoe resident Erin Leigh Fredrick was among those who commented on Twitter: “Welcome back #snow. #winterishere #laketahoe.”

As did South Tahoe resident Jenn Gleckman: “Waking up to this makes me giddy for what lies ahead. #snow #tahoe #skiing.”

Locally, the band of rain moved into the foothills Sunday night with the heaviest rain expected during the day Monday. The storm could drop half to an inch of rain in the foothills, much more than expected a day ago.

Today, forecasters predict 20 percent chance of showers in Grass Valley with a high near 56. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.

Kevin MacMillan is the editor of the Sierra Sun, a sister publication of The Union. The Union City Editor Liz Kellar contributed to this report.

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