Recent storms not enough to keep Tahoe area ski resorts open

California

SODA SPRINGS, Calif. (KTXL) — Recent storms have so far not been enough to keep Tahoe area ski resorts open. 

“Usually, we’ll start with high snow levels in the beginning and then they’ll fall when the cold front comes through. We’re just not seeing that with this storm,” said Bryan Allegretto.

Allegretto is a meteorologist and the writer of Tahoe Daily Snow, a ski-industry forecast on opensnow.com

“Unfortunately, we’re not getting cold air behind these storms, and we’re not getting cold storms yet. So, we’re getting snow on top of warm ground that’s melting from underneath and from above with the warm air behind the storms. So, the precipitation is awesome but not great for skiing yet,” Allegretto said. 

Colder storms with snow that sticks at lower elevations are also important for California’s water supply going into the spring and summer. Snowmelt accounts for an estimated 30% of California’s freshwater needs, according to the Department of Water Resources. 

But it is way too soon to panic about the possibility of another bad year. 

“It’s just the beginning of November, and I know everyone’s antsy because of the bad seasons we’ve had. But it’s super early and we’ve had a lot of precipitation already, so I like where we’re at, getting one or two storms a week right now. It’s not quiet. It’s not dry. And so that’s a good sign going into the season,” Allegretto said. 

“The big good cold storms don’t usually get rolling until mid-December. A lot of times we’re waiting until right around the holiday week, you know, Christmas to New Year time frame when we start getting the good storms,” Allegretto explained.

But in the meantime, there may be some better storms. 

“I’m hoping to see some colder air next week and get the snowmaking really up and running. And then some colder storms later in the month,” Allegretto said. 

He said the forecast for a La Nina winter favors wet storms with long breaks in between but overall a better season than the previous water year. 

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