Lake Tahoe is an alpine lake located at the state borders of California and Nevada. It is the largest high-altitude lake in North America and sits at an elevation of 6,225 feet (1,897 meters). Lake Tahoe is a major tourist attraction centre and is surrounded by several snow and ski resorts. The lake has a depth of 1,645 feet (501 meters) deep, making it the second deepest Lake in the U.S after Crater Lake. But does it snow in Lake Tahoe?
Lake Tahoe experiences a dry-summer continental climate characterized by dry, warm summers and cold winters with regular snow.
When does it snow around Lake Tahoe?
Snow in Lake Tahoe starts falling in November or even as early as October, and the last instance is recorded in April. Heightened winter conditions in the area, however, start in December and lasts through to March. Throughout the year, Lake Tahoe records an average of 190.7 inches (4843.78 mm) of snow after witnessing snow for 39.2 days.
Snowfall in December
December is usually the first month of winter in Lake Tahoe. The temperatures in the area are freezing and vary from highs of 40.3 degrees Fahrenheit (4.6 degrees Celsius) to lows of 20.8 degrees Fahrenheit (-6.2 degrees Celsius). Snow pelts the area for seven snowfall days and accumulates up to a depth of 38.2 inches (970.28 millimetres).
Snowfall in January
January is the coldest month in Lake Tahoe. Temperatures in the area range from highs of 38.6 degrees Fahrenheit (3.7 degrees Celsius) to lows of 19.1 degrees Fahrenheit (-7.2 degrees Celsius). Lake Tahoe witnesses heavy snowfall throughout the month and records a snow accumulation of 40.4 inches (1,033.78 millimetres) after 7.7 snowfall days.
Snowfall in February
The frigid conditions of the previous month persist in Lake Tahoe throughout February. Temperatures often remain below the freezing mark and range from highs of 40.3 degrees Fahrenheit (4.6 degrees Celsius) to lows of 19.9 degrees Fahrenheit (-6.7 degrees Celsius). The area records about 40.7 inches (1033.78 mm) of snowfall after 7.5 snowfall days.
Snowfall in March
In March, temperatures rise slightly but are still too low to bring any solace from the biting cold of the previous months. Temperatures in the area fluctuate between highs of 44 degrees Fahrenheit (6.7 degrees Celsius) and lows of 22.8 degrees Fahrenheit (-5.1 degrees Celsius). March records about 32 inches (812.8 mm) of snow after 6.8 snowfall days.
Where does it snow around Lake Tahoe?
Snowfall is prevalent in the settlements around Lake Tahoe. Areas on the western side receive more snow than on the eastern side of the basin.
Snow in Tahoe City
Tahoe City is situated near the shore of Lake Tahoe. The town sits at an elevation of 6,250 feet (1,905 meters) and experiences a continental Mediterranean climate. Winters are chilly and have temperatures ranging from highs of 42 degrees Fahrenheit (5.5 degrees Celsius) to lows of 21.6 degrees Fahrenheit ( -5.7 degrees Celsius). The city records 170.8 inches (4,338.3 millimetres) of snow throughout the year after 39 snowfall days.
Snow in South Lake Tahoe
South Lake Tahoe is situated at elevations of 6237 feet (1901 meters) and experiences a snowy highland climate. In winter, temperatures in the area vary between highs of 44.4 degrees Fahrenheit (6.9 degrees Celsius) and lows of 19.3 degrees Fahrenheit (-7 degrees Celsius). South Lake Tahoe records 88 inches (2,237 mm) of snow throughout the year after 37 snowfall days.
Snow in Stateline
Stateline is situated at an elevation of 6238 feet (1,915 meters) and experiences a humid continental climate. Temperatures in winter are low and often crack the freezing mark. Throughout the year, Stateline receives about 343 inches (8,712 mm) after 43 snowfall days.
Ski Resorts Around Lake Tahoe
Heavenly Mountain Resort
Heavenly Mountain Resort is located in the city of South Lake Tahoe in the Sierra Nevada. The resort has 1,584 acres of skiable land with a peak elevation of 10,067 feet (3,068 meters). Heavenly Mountain has 95 runs with 30 lifts that spread across the state line of California and Nevada. Furthermore, the resort receives an impressive 390 inches of snow annually.
The resort is known for hosting the 1960 Winter Olympics. It is found northwest of Tahoe City and is the largest skiing complex around the Lake Tahoe area. The resort has challenging terrains and 3,600 acres of skiable land. It also has a summit elevation of 9,010 feet (2,750 meters) and receives a colossal 450 inches of snow annually.
Diamond Peak is a resort located in Incline Village in the Lake Tahoe area. The resort has 655 acres of skiable land and thirty runs with six chairlifts. Diamond Peak has a summit elevation of 8,540 feet (2,603 meters) and a vertical drop of 1,840 feet (562 meters).