Winter 2022-2023 Lake Tahoe Snow Forecast
The National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center released its forecast for the 2022/2023 winter season. Below average sea surface temperatures were recorded in the equatorial Pacific, confirming that we are still in a La Nina period. This weather pattern began in 2020, and is now in its 3rd year.
In Northern California, La Nina years are associated with winters that are drier than normal. However, last year was a La Nina year and October and December had above average snowfall in the Northern Sierra.
Historically, a La Nina event has brought a wetter than normal period during November to December to the Lake Tahoe area. The January through March forecast can be difficult to predict.
Lake Tahoe sits on the border between the polar jet streams that flow from the north and the warmer fronts that come from the south. This is why we have experienced winter ski seasons that can alternate between extreme snowstorms one week and spring skiing the next. A small deviation in where these weather patterns meet can change temperature and precipitation dramatically.
NOAA estimates that the chances for La Nina continuing will decrease from 86% during the fall to 60% for December through February 2023. La Nina actually pulls the polar jet down into the Pacific Northwest, while Southern California is traditionally drier.
When La Nina is weak, the polar jet comes farther south, while a stronger La Nina keeps the polar ridge farther north. Click for Information
The Farmer’s Almanac
Since 1818, the Farmer’s Almanac has provided extended weather forecasts for the entire United States. They also released their forecast in August for the coming winter, which they refer to as ‘Shake, Shiver and Shovel!’
Their forecast is similar, calling for a mild winter in Northern California, with ‘hibernation’ weather forecasted for the Rockies and ‘shovel’ weather for the Midwest. Last year, they predicted a ‘frosty, flip-flop winter.’ December 2021 began with warm temperatures, and out of nowhere, we had an epic snowfall for Christmas.
In the last several years, we have had a huge migration of full-time residents to the Lake Tahoe basin and the winters have been relatively mild. For some, this might have been a welcome relief. For the rest of us, we throw Snowfest parties and ‘pray for snow.’ Snowy winters are Lake Tahoe and Truckee's GNP for its economy. We love snow.
Winter of 2022-2023 is anyone’s guess. It seems like our climate patterns have become anything but predictable. By Halloween last year, Palisades Tahoe opened to trick or treat skiers and we may see something similar in 2022.
We began September with a heat wave in the Northern Sierra, but the forecast for September will see temperatures return to normal in the low 70’s, with near freezing temperatures at night.
Whether you are thinking of buying or selling your property at Lake Tahoe, we’d love to help you. Contact us today for information about available homes for sale or for a free property analysis of your home.