Snow coming to Lake Tahoe this weekend after 80-degree days

Balmy temperatures are bringing a taste of summer to the Tahoe Basin this week, but the weather is expected to shift substantially over the three-day Memorial Day weekend as a storm system to the north impacts California’s Sierra Nevada, the National Weather Service said.

Light snow showers are in the forecast for the mountains ringing Lake Tahoe on Sunday into Monday, and afternoon highs on Sunday could be more than 30 degrees cooler than they were on Wednesday.

South Lake Tahoe is forecast to hit an afternoon high of 76 degrees on Wednesday, and by comparison, on Sunday, the mercury could drop into the low 50s to high 40s, the weather service said. Truckee could break 80 degrees today and is expected to dive down into the 50s over the weekend.


The chance for snow comes as a storm system from Canada is forecast to push down into the Pacific Northwest.

“We’ll be catching the southern end of this system,” weather service forecaster Heather Richards said. “That’s why our accumulations are going to be light. The bulk of that snow will be up toward the Pacific Northwest.”

Richards said it’s too early to provide a detailed forecast with projected snowfall totals, but as of Wednesday, some models suggested “a dusting of up to an inch” is possible. 

“In all honestly, we took that wording out of our forecast as not all our data is in agreement,” she said. “Because it’s farther out in our forecast period, we’re going to wait to assign totals.”

Snow in late May for the Tahoe Basin isn’t common, but it’s also not rare. 

“This isn’t terribly outside the norm since we’re still in spring,” Richards said. “Memorial Day weekend can go both ways. It can be really nice or it can be awful.”