June 8th, 2017. The snow has been gone on the north side of our house (elevation 6450) for a week. Most Tahoe areas below 7000 feet are snow free. (Although there are many patches along the West Shore at lake level.)
But the upper elevations are heavy with snow. Our season total at our house was around 40 feet. The official measurements at the tops of the ski areas were season totals of 65 feet. Squaw Valley had to dig tunnels down to the chairlifts so that riders could get up the mountain as if riding along a walled-in snow road. Squaw announced that they will be open until July 4th. There has even been talk of them not closing at all and staying open continuously through the summer and fall, a season that would stretch 18 months until spring of 2018. They probably won't, but it will be because of lack of skiers, not snow.
Every time the temperature goes up a bit, the weather service issues flood warnings, and the rivers and creeks are at the top of their banks with snowmelt.
On June 8th, we hiked up to Angora Lookout. It is only 7000 feet of elevation, yet the clouds were swirling. The temp was in the 40s. Cold rain soaked us. Looking down at Fallen Leaf Lake, we could see snow patches still lingering at Stanford Camp, elevation 6400. Looking across at Mt. Tallac, elevation 9735 feet, the summit was obscured by a snowstorm. Because the temperature drops 3 to 4 degrees for every thousand feet of elevation rise, Tallac's summit was probably about 30 degrees. And it will drop to the high teens overnight. The precip is supposed to continue, so we'll wake up to fresh white on the mountains.
When we get high wind warnings and gusts to 35 down at lake level, as forecast this day, the Sierra crest often gets 100 mile-per-hour gusts, sometimes much more.
Which means, the summit of Tallac was experiencing a blizzard during the photo below.
|Waves of snow sweep across the sky. |
At center left on the photo, there are still snow patches down at Stanford Camp.
The summit of Mt. Tallac is obscured by a June blizzard.
I wouldn't want to be up there!
The next day, June 9th, I gave a talk to the Incline Village Golf Club. I took another picture of Mt. Tallac, this time from 20 miles away. In the picture, Tallac is the mountain on the far shore with sunlight shining on the snow fields. The day was blustery. There were multiple showers. In conditions like this, rain showers look gray. Snow showers look white. So it appeared that the heavy shower to the right of Tallac was snow. Later on the 9th, I looked at the weather forecast. On Sunday (when this blog will post), they are predicting snow for Tahoe. Life in the mountains is Fun!
|Mt. Tallac as seen from the Northwest Shore, 20 miles distant. The showers to the right are snow falling over the water.|