Sierra Snow Diary

Current snow diary

- 2019/2020 -
5/10/20: A minor storm will swing through mid-week, Tahoe area and north of that only. The melt-off of of the past few weeks is nearly complete; you need to go to 10000'+ for good snow, and that will be fading in the coming weeks as well. This snow season had a strong start and a strong finish, but a months-long mostly dry stretch in between, below normal overall. That, and, you know, Covid. Let's hope for better times next winter.

5/3/20: Sunny and warm weather continues.

4/27/20: Continued clear and warm weather (and heating up even more), with a touch of light showers possible around the weekend.

4/20/20: Today's unsettled weather clearing, the rest of the week will be sunny and increasingly warm.

4/13/20: It'll be sunny most of this week, with some rain/snow showers possible into the weekend.

4/6/20: The surprisingly strong (and cold) storm cycle that arrived this past weekend has dropped 2-3 feet of snow, and even more to the south. Look for clearing and warming, soon around Tahoe, and later in the week in the southern Sierra. In other news, Sno-Parks are now closed, Mammoth has a checkpoint turning away people who don't need to be there, and entire national parks are completely closed. Also, east side populations are dealing with some of the highest case rates in the state. Sadly, this late-blooming snow season needs to be left alone so that communities can survive and recover.

3/30/20: The wintry weather of the past couple of weeks is clearing out, and it's going to warm up some.

3/23/20: Hey, it's turned out to be a snowy March! Probably about 3 feet of fresh in the past week, and another foot coming in the next few days, before it clears later in the week.

3/16/20: Finally, a real storm, easily the biggest since the December solstice. Up to 4 feet have fallen, and another foot is expected by tomorrow. Then, unsettled through the week, possibly picking up for more snow accumulation going into the weekend. Unfortunately, the Coronavirus pandemic has many of us stuck at home, and nearly all ski resorts are closed at the moment.

3/9/20: We got a few to several inches this past weekend. In the coming week, unsettled conditions, but not a lot of snow, and the possibility of a fairly strong storm around the weekend.

3/2/20: This past weekend's storm exceeded expectations, and dropped up to a foot (at higher resort elevations) of badly needed snow. The coming week will be dry, until a not-major storm comes in by the weekend. Some are saying that there is the possibility of major storms as mid-March approaches, but that's still outside the 10-day forecast window, so who knows.

2/24/20: Another dry week has passed (the Sierra well south of Tahoe got a little bit of snow over the weekend), and another dry week is coming up; that, plus significantly warmer. Last week I said coverage "remains decent", which it is in a lot of areas that are higher up and not south-facing; that's going to start to change with continued lack of precip and warmer temps.

2/17/20: The past week was dry, and the coming week will be dry, at least until around the weekend, when a couple waves of minor precip may add some inches. On the plus side, it's mostly stayed cool, since the last major storm action, before Christmas, which is why coverage remains decent (and there's supposed to be some quality "spring" snow on south aspects). Still, we're really going to need some fresh snow tonnage in March.

2/10/20: There was a dusting yesterday morning, but aside from that sort of thing, it's been dry for weeks now, and no major storms are expected for the next week, nor the following week. There will be some inches-only action going into the weekend, though.

2/3/20: The dry spell (yesterday's inch or two notwithstanding) continues in the coming week. There is a chance of very light snowfall around next Sunday, but that's about it. We're going to need some serious storm action in late February and/or March, or this snow season could end up fading early.

1/27/20: The past week: Very roughly a half-foot new snow mid-week, and then again late-weekend. The coming week: No precip, and warming considerably into the weekend. The snowpack remains decent, but not exactly robust.

1/20/20: We got a couple feet or so refresh late last week (unfortunately on top of an old snow icy layer, so watch the stability). Nothing big coming this week, probably inches early-week, and another not big storm possible late-weekend.

1/13/20: The past week brought minor storms, altogether accumulating a half foot or so. This coming week, we're finally getting some real action, with up to 2 feet expected, the bulk of it around Wednesday-Thursday.

1/6/20: Did I say last week would be dry? Mostly, it was, but it did rain some mid-week. The poor snow quality should get a bit of a refresh in the coming week, with a few inches here and there expected during mostly unsettled weather. We'll have to keep waiting for big accumulations, though.

12/30/19: We got some minor snowfall, a few inches, in the past day. The coming week is going to be dry, with a small possibility of minor precip on the weekend. Coverage remains very good at resort elevations.

12/23/19: Another up-to-a-foot storm just wrapped up; unsettled weather but no major accumulation in the coming week. The holidays report: excellent coverage for this time of year above 7000', with some snow down to lake level. Downhill and XC resorts have the goods for holiday crowds, and backcountry is happening too. Have fun!

12/16/19: Up to a foot of light fresh snow came in on the weekend. This week will be cold and we'll see light precip mid-week, and maybe the start of the next system late in the weekend. Coverage is outstanding above 7000', so get out there before the holiday crowds arrive.

12/9/19: A couple more feet of fresh snow fell in the last few days, and the snowpack's looking great, for early December. Some minor weather blowing through this week, and a wet storm, with some snow but probably only inches, coming around the weekend.

12/2/19: Now that's how to start a ski season: Up to 5-6 feet of snow has fallen. Unsettled weather continues all this week (and a bit on the warm side), leading up to another possibly big storm event around the weekend.

11/25/19: And another season begins... The ground is dry now (aside from snowmaking), but our base arrives mid-week, with 2-3 feet of fresh expected, and the possibility of more snow late in the weekend.

- 2018/2019 -
6/17/19: This will be my last report of this epic season, but that doesn't mean that there's no more snow. The Sierra high country still has the goods, and Mammoth will be staying open daily until early August. Tioga Road remains closed west of the pass, but it's possible that will change within a week. Get out there!

6/10/19: It's summertime! Hot conditions, but we still have a snowpack, so go high, go early, and go skiing.

6/3/19: Afternoon precip cycles will be winding down this week; it should be all-day sunshine as the weekend approaches. Sonora Pass has opened (surprisingly early, considering), and Tioga is accessible from the east. High country snow is plentiful, so get out there before it gets too cuppy.

5/27/19: The recent wintry conditions (the past weekend brought significant snow down to below 5000' in some places), are done for now, but warmer unsettled weather will continue for the next week. There's still quite a bit of snow coverage above 9000' through much of the range, and below 6000' on some aspects.

5/20/19: May has turned out to be rather wintry; we had 2 feet or more of fresh snow in the past several days. Unsettled weather, and some more significant snow accumulation, continues in the coming week and into Memorial Day weekend.

5/13/19: It's been, and will continue to be, on-and-off stormy in the Sierra. Late last week, there was up to a foot or so of fresh snow in the southern Sierra high country, and the cycle arriving later this week looks to be bigger, colder, and more widespread, so watch for significant accumulation.

5/6/19: Unsettled weather is back, with chances of precip daily and precip increasing towards the weekend.

4/29/19: Cooler this week, thankfully. Some mild precip early in the week and on the weekend. The spring snowpack is outstanding, and Eastside access keeps improving.

4/22/19: Dry and warm this week, with a chance of showers around the weekend.

4/15/19: Another wet storm coming early this week, bringing up to a half foot of snow to higher elevations, then mostly dry probably through the end of April. There's lots of spring snow to be enjoyed, so get out there!

4/8/19: This past week brought up to a foot of wet snow to higher elevations (little or nothing at moderate elevations). The coming week has more unsettled weather, but only a few inches of more snow.

4/1/19: We got some fresh snow late last week. This week, it's increasingly unsettled weather, with rain (and high elevation snow) early week and then more into the weekend.

3/25/19: Yet more storm action on the way, up to two feet coming mid-week.

3/18/19: Unsettled weather returns this week, with 1/2 to 1 foot of fresh snow, cumulatively, by the weekend.

3/11/19: We got a couple more feet of fresh last week. It's mostly a dry week coming up, with some warming into the weekend.

3/4/19: 5 feet or so added since a week ago, mostly pretty wet snow, and there's quite a bit more coming this week. February, in some areas around Tahoe, averaged nearly a foot per day for the entire month. We are now at over 100% of average snowfall for the entire season, and 50% to 80% above average snowfall year-to-date. This could easily end up being a record season.

2/25/19: After a week of digging out, big storms are returning in the coming week. Predictions are for up to 6 feet before the weekend (less at moderate mountain elevations; we're talking about a wet storm here), with the weekend bringing quite a bit on top of that.

2/18/19: Another big wave of storms just cleared, with 7 feet or more of fresh since a week ago at resort elevations. This week remains cold, with some more snow coming mid-week and possibly on the weekend, but with daily totals measured in inches rather than feet.

2/11/19: Sierra snow keeps blowing past forecasts! This past week, we had heavy snow early in the week, and more heavy snow on the weekend, very roughly on the order of 8 feet total. Cold stuff, too, accumulating at lower elevations. And it isn't quitting... more heavy snowfall is expected later this week, continuing moderately (or heavily?) into the holiday weekend.

2/4/19: The last few days dropped up to 3 feet of heavy snow around Tahoe and as much as double that in some parts of the high Sierra farther south. The storm rages on, with up to 3 more feet, colder snow, falling today and tomorrow. After a sunny break, unsettled weather resumes into the weekend.

1/28/19: After a week of cool and dry, the sky is starting to cloud up, with storms coming in late in the week and into the weekend, up to 2 feet of fresh possible.

1/21/19: We had major snow in the past week, adding up the dailies (including last night) as much as 7 feet, but with some rain mixed in (and settling the depth considerably), particularly lower down. The next week or so: Dry and sunny.

1/14/19: Up to a foot of new early in the past week; this coming week will bring major storm activity, peaking mid-week, probably at least 5 feet by next weekend.

1/7/19: We had a big delivery in the past few days, 3 to 4 feet of fresh snow in many areas, and unsettled weather with more significant accumulation will continue for the next week or more. Coverage had not been great, so this opens up a lot of terrain.

12/31/18: Dry weather continues this week, chance of snow on the weekend.

12/24/18: The somewhat-adequate snowpack is getting a refresher, up to a foot of new snow, early this week, which should keep things somewhat adequate through the holiday period. From mid-week onward, we're looking at dry weather. Holiday conditions: Downhill resorts should have most main runs open; between-runs skiing very limited. XC resorts open and good. Backcountry trails mostly good, backcountry slopes mostly not so good, but doable in some areas.

12/17/18: After a dry week, we just got a several-inch refresher, which will keep our snowpack teetering along the edge of being barely adequate. The coming week will be dry; storms are predicted to return Xmas week.

12/10/18: Cloudy and cool this coming week, with very light precip early in the week, and light-to-moderate precip starting around Friday. There's snow on the ground, with good but not great coverage at resorts, and adequate snow for some backcountry.

12/3/18: Last week delivered up to 3 feet, so hey, it's early December and we have a base! This coming week brings cool unsettled weather, but not a lot of new depth (maybe a bit more than that in the southern Sierra).

11/26/18: Last week's storms brought 2 feet of snow (onto dry ground), though things got wet towards the end and some of that melted off. Storm activity will resume mid-week, starting warm but it should add up to a couple of feet or so by the weekend.

11/19/18: Dry ground currently, but we have a good storm coming up Wednesday through Friday, which should yield up to 2 feet of base.

- 2017/2018 -
5/7/18: Fair weather for the next week, and you're on your own beyond that. Sonora Pass is open, also Tioga Pass access from the east, so get out there and enjoy some morning corn snow before this below-average spring snowpack is gone. Weekly updates resume in November.

4/30/18: Cool unsettled weather continues through mid-week; some of the southern Sierra high country could see a foot or more of fresh snow. The snowpack is melting off fast, though. On the East Side, most of the fun is above 10000'.

4/23/18: Warm, with afternoon thunderstorms later in the week.

4/16/18: Between last night and today, we have most of another foot of new snow. Aside from a minor storm mid-week, it's looking clear through next weekend.

4/9/18: We're at a net loss from the storms of the past several days due to all the rain, but there's still better coverage than at any point before March. There's some storm action coming up later this week, a quick one that could drop up to a foot of fresh.

4/2/18: Sunny weather continues, then rain going into the weekend.

3/26/18: Last week brought up to 3 feet of new snow, topping off what came to be a very snowy "Miracle March", which turned what had seemed destined to be a historically bleak season into merely a below-average season. It'll be sunny and clear for the next week or so.

3/19/18: Well, that was the biggest snow week of the season, with as much as 8 feet of fresh snow in some areas! There's more coming this week, not as much, and warmer, but still likely to be a few feet in the higher areas. The ski season is very much ON, finally. Alas, we're still below average, so don't be surprised when the season winds down not too many weeks after this reasonably full snowpack began.

3/12/18: After a lull in the action this past week, we have another snowy week ahead, possibly up to 3 feet or more new snow by the weekend.

3/5/18: Hey, we have a snowpack! I mean, sure, we're stuck in a well-below-average season, but the past week brought up to 6 feet of snow. This coming week, we have a break, and then significant snowfall picks up again going into the weekend.

2/26/18: There's a foot or more of cold snow that's fallen in the last few days. Later this week and into the weekend, we'll see what may be the biggest storm set of the season so far, with up to 4 feet of fresh expected.

2/19/18: A more snowy pattern has arrived; these aren't big storms this week, but it's something. About a half-foot just landed, and another half-foot is expected later this week.

2/12/18: We have a minor storm blowing through, dropping an inch or two to refresh the groomed ski runs and the high elevation snowpack. Other than that, the lack of badly needed snow continues for at least another week and probably longer; at least it'll be cooler than last week, though.

2/5/18: Warm and dry conditions will continue for another week or more, which will get us back to where we were in January, with continuous snow coverage only above around 8000'. There's some good corn snow in the meantime, though.

1/29/18: With last week's foot-or-so storm, we have a usable snowpack in a lot of areas, particularly above 8000', and (for the first time in the season) there's enough snow for XC on some trails down to Lake Tahoe level. But it's a thin snowpack; snowfall to date is running from 25% to 50% of average (depending on elevation), putting us in line with the worst of the past decade's drought seasons. As for the coming week: We're back in a dry spell.

1/22/18: About a foot of fresh snow fell late last week, adding to the high elevation snowpack, and covering a lot of bare ground at low to moderate elevations. Unsettled conditions continue this week, including a mid- to late-week storm that could deliver up to 2 more feet of badly needed coverage.

1/15/18: Winter finally descends to lake level later this week. Unsettled weather starts tonight, and we should see a storm bringing 1 to 2 feet by the end of the week. Wintry weather should continue from there into next week.

1/8/18: The storms of the last few days and through tomorrow have broken a long dry spell, but it's been warm throughout, with snow levels around or above 8000'. Thus, it's going to add up to 2 feet or more at the top of Mt. Rose resort, and more than 3 feet in the southern Sierra high country; however, at Donner Summit, it's only going to be a few inches, and probably a net loss due to rain washing away the little snow that was already there. It'll be dry from mid-week onward. So then: We're still waiting for Tahoe's first "real" big snow storm of the season; or, go high.

1/1/18: No new snow for quite a while (and yet there's skiable natural snow starting around 8000' or so in some areas). We finally get some precip later this week and into the weekend, but snow levels are going to be high, around 8000', and it isn't going to be major or anything.

12/25/17: There is some (shallow) continuous coverage if you go high enough, 8000' in some areas, more like 9000' in others. Otherwise, you're relying on man-made snow at resorts. There will be no significant precip until sometime in January. And it's going to be kind of warm this week.

12/18/17: We'll break our dry spell mid-week, with several inches of fresh snow expected; nothing in the next week other than that. Going into the holidays period, here's the big picture: Most downhill resorts are open serving limited terrain on a mix of natural and man-made snow; XC resorts remain closed but one or two may open with very limited trails by Christmas. Backcountry has mixed-bag coverage and snow quality above 8000'; marginal coverage, if any, below that. No major storms are expected through the end of 2017. Long-range forecasts tentatively predict better things in January.

12/11/17: The past week was dry, the coming week will be dry; very limited snowpack.

12/4/17: A quick storm just blew through this past weekend, putting up to a half foot of cold powder on the ground. We still don't have a (natural) base, but at least this will make the man-made snow runs less icy. No precip is expected for another week or more.

11/27/17: This past week was warm, melting off most (all in some areas) of the snow on the ground. Then, just in the last 24 hours, we just got a half-foot or so of fresh. This week is clear and dry, until some moderate precip on the weekend. So, the natural snowpack isn't happening yet, but you can get some turns at some resorts.

- 2016/2017 -
6/19/17: Fun on snow is still being had at five-figure elevations. Sonora Pass and eastside Tioga access are now open. Watch for serious suncups on non-steep slopes. And, watch out for serious heat, now and in the coming week: It's 80 in Mammoth. I'm guessing Tioga opens all the way through in a week or so. I'm going to hang up the weekly reports until November, but there's still actually deep snow in higher places, so keep on skiing!

6/12/17: The past day or so dropped a good part of a foot of snow high up near Sonora/Tioga latitudes. Once that melts or slides off, it'll be more good times on high country slopes. Sonora Pass and east access to Tioga were cleared and should both open as soon as the new stuff is plowed off.

6/5/17: Showers late in the week, otherwise warm and sunny. High country snow is plentiful for peaks & chutes skiing where it isn't too cuppy or rotten.

5/29/17: Warm this week. Aside from some occasional rain showers, high country skiing should continue to be excellent.

5/22/17: Clear and quite warm. Still lots of snow, though! Get out there, start early, and watch for wet slide conditions.

5/15/17: The current mild stormage winds down soon, and it'll be clear and getting warmer through the week.

5/8/17: Up to a half-foot or so of snow fell this past weekend. The coming week has some mild unsettled weather, mostly partly cloudy to clear, warm but not hot. The return of a nighttime freeze will be good for all that backcountry corn.

5/1/17: Some mild unsettled weather towards the weekend, but otherwise clear and warm. Lots of corn snow; get out there!

4/24/17: A warm storm to start the week, clearing into the weekend. I should mention, again, that this is an incredible snow year. Getting into what's usually late season, there's still plenty of coverage above 8000', and it's deep above 9K'. With some East Side access roads open or opening soon, it's Game On for spring backcountry skiing, now, for the next month, and then some.

4/17/17: The past week of mostly unsettled weather continues into mid-week, with up to 1 foot of fresh (Tahoe area) or 2 feet (Mammoth area) falling by tomorrow night. Steady clearing and warming later in the week.

4/10/17: After a few feet of snow a few days ago, we have a short break, but it'll be unsettled most of the coming week. A half-foot or more is expected around Thursday.

4/3/17: Mostly warm dry weather continues a bit longer, with a significant storm expected late in the week into the weekend; could be 3 or more feet of new snow at crest altitudes.

3/27/17: It's clearing up for a few days, with some snow rolling through in a few days, and unsettled into the weekend; maybe 6 inches or snow of fresh total.

3/20/17: Wintry conditions return for the coming week, with more than 1 foot of fresh falling early in the week plus more than another foot around the weekend (at crest elevations).

3/13/17: Warm and mostly dry the past week and the coming week.

3/6/17: The storms of the past couple days clear by this evening, with up to 3 feet of fresh snow on the crest. A break in the precip this week, with stormy weather returning on the weekend and beyond. As of now, we have record season precip, and a double-normal snowpack; wow!!

2/27/17: The latest stormy week winds down today; we have clear and warming weather in the coming week.

2/20/17: There was up to 3 feet of fresh snow on the crest in the past few days. And the storm action continues most of the coming week, with the heaviest snowfall today and tomorrow. 5 feet or more by a week from now.

2/13/17: The Sierra got an epic drenching this past week; all major highways were closed at one point, and even Rose Highway was closed near the summit (due to flooding!) A few feet of snow accumulated after the deluge, though, and something like powder could be enjoyed if you went high enough. Significant storms return later this week.

2/6/17: We picked up 2-3 feet at crest elevations in the past several days, on top of our end-of-January 175%-of-normal snowpack. This week, the storms keep coming, and wet, so probably a couple more feet of snow plus plenty of rain by the weekend.

1/30/17: Our week-and-a-half dry spell ends later this week with a significant snow event, looks like a few feet of fresh by the weekend.

1/23/17: This has been the third straight week with 7+ feet of snowfall on the Sierra crest, an amazing average of one foot of snow per day since the year began. It's in its final clearing stages today, though, and it's looking clear and cold for the next week or so.

1/16/17: This month's epic snowfall, up to 15 feet since New Years, wound down a few days ago, but there's more to come starting mid-week, with 4 feet or more coming by a week from now.

1/9/17: Heavy storms for the past seven days and for the next seven days. The past week gave us up to 8 feet of snow, some of it very wet (but some of it nice and powdery, too). The coming week looks like more of that, with 5-10 feet of new snow at higher elevations, with less to much less where more of the precip falls as rain.

1/2/17: The coming week is going to be somewhere between major and huge in terms of snowfall. Snow accumulation has already begun, but we're looking at quite a lot more, particularly mid-week and around the weekend. Today through next Monday we could be talking about 5 to 10 feet.

12/26/16: The storm of the past few days surprised upwards, for once, dropping 1 to 2 feet of cold snow. This greatly improves coverage, adding to the now decent base higher up (8000'+), and covering dry ground lower down (6K'-7K'). Light snow coming towards the weekend; our next hope for a good one is the following week.

12/19/16: It was quite stormy late last week, but in terms of snowfall, it was a fizzle except at high elevations. Rose and Mammoth picked up a few feet, while Donner Summit got mere inches (plus a drenching of rain). We're now at way above average for precip, but snow coverage is still hurting in a lot of areas. This week, clear and cold, with unsettled weather as the weekend approaches.

12/12/16: Most of the past few days' precip in the mountains has fallen as rain; we added roughly a foot of damp snowpack on the peaks around Tahoe (3 feet higher up at Rose). Storms continue this week, cooling off for some good accumulation later in the week, and clearing into the weekend.

12/5/16: Significant snowfall towards the end of this week will break the current mostly dry spell.

11/28/16: The past set of storms dropped 3 feet or so in the Tahoe area, a bit less to the south; call it a couple feet of base. Some minor precip in the next week, but mostly clear and cold.

11/21/16: The ski season is starting to shape up! About a foot of fresh just fell (onto bare ground), with a bit more coming mid-week, and significantly more into the weekend.

- 2015/2016 -
5/23/16: A mixed bag of unsettled weather, but mostly nice springtime skiing, so get out there for some of the best high country goodness in years. Sonora and Tioga are open now. After a few more weekends of fun times at the passes, action moves to Lassen and Shasta, and then that's it. A great season; even if the snowpack was only "normal", after the past four years that was plenty. See you next season!

5/16/16: Some mild precip here and there, in the next week, but mostly clear weather. Sonora Pass should be open by the weekend.

5/9/16: After a few weeks of on-and-off stormy weather, it has cleared, and we're looking at a week or more of mostly sunny weather. Get out there and do some Spring skiing!

5/2/16: Unsettled weather continues, with precip increasing into the weekend; looks like there will be significant snow above 8000'.

4/25/16: A surprisingly strong storm just dropped up to 2 feet in the past few days, and we'll see more unsettled weather with significant snowfall in the next week.

4/18/16: It's been warm again, but it'll cool off with some precip towards the weekend.

4/11/16: We have a somewhat moist week ahead, with some only modest snow accumulation expected around Thursday.

4/4/16: Warm and clear continues, with a touch of precip going into the weekend.

3/28/16: Some unsettled weather early this week, a few inches of snow, returning to clear and warm after that.

3/21/16: We have a little storm action to start the week, should be up to a foot of fresh wet snow, then warm through the weekend.

3/14/16: The atmospheric cement truck delivered the past few days, up to four feet of fresh snow. It's clearing up for the coming week, though, with some mild unsettled weather by the weekend.

3/7/16: After a steady-precip December-January and a mostly dry February, we're getting into a very stormy March. 3 feet of fresh already in the past few days, and plenty more coming, heavy and wet, later in the week.

2/29/16: Unsettled weather coming later this week, but our mid-winter dry spell isn't broken yet.

2/22/16: We got up to two feet of fresh late last week. For now, we're back to sunny and warm for the next week.

2/15/16: The warm dry weather of the past week continues, until the middle of the week when a quick storm rolls in, could be about a foot of fresh snow coming.

2/8/16: After a powder-licious December and January, February is shaping up into a kind of dry month. Dry and warm for the next week or so.

2/1/16: The storm set of the last few days dropped a few inches of rain, followed by up to two feet of (by the end) light snow. This week, we'll have unsettled conditions and an inch or so of fresh, followed by clearing.

1/25/16: Following this past weekend's decent storm (and all the others), we actually have a dry week ahead. Until the weekend, when another storm moves in.

1/18/16: January's snow accumulation has resumed after only a few days break, and will continue on-and-off through the weekend, with the biggest action likely approaching and through the weekend, probably a couple more feet or so for the next seven days.

1/11/16: The steady progression of mild to moderate storms, which has brought up to 3 feet of snow in the past week (and more to the southern Sierra), will continue for another week, up to 2 feet likely in the next week. Ski conditions are outstanding, resort or backcountry, needless to say.

1/4/16: We start the year with an above-average snowpack. Stormy weather ahead, with (cumulatively) up to a couple of feet of fresh snow expected by this time next week.

12/28/15: After a couple of inches of cold fresh texture today, we're looking at a cool dry week (or two) ahead.

12/21/15: Most of a foot of fresh was just added to a pretty good December base, and most of the coming week (and weekend) is predicted to be stomy.

12/14/15: The past several days brought a few feet of snow, perhaps not as much as some expected, but enough that the base is finally well established. Game on! Clearing up this week, with a bit more snow by the weekend.

12/7/15: We got a fair bit more fresh snow a few days ago, more Tahoe-north (where it was most needed) than Tahoe-south. Something big is coming, starting Wednesday night and through the weekend, could be the season's first real dumper!

11/30/15: A foot or so fell early this past week. Nearly all downhill and XC resorts are open now, though with limited terrain. Backcountry remains thin and rocky. Up to a foot of fresh, wetter snow is expected later this week.

11/23/15: We have snow coming early- to mid-week, maybe a foot or two, with unsettled weather keeping things soft through Thanksgiving weekend. Most downhill resorts are at least partially open; backcountry (by late week) could be good in certain places (but definitely use rock skis and be careful).

11/16/15: I should have resumed weekly updates a week ago, but I had to ski it to believe it first! There's been skiable (though thin) natural snow for about a week now, and most Sierra resorts are now open or opening soon. We got nice refresher, a foot or so, this past weekend. This next week's going to be clear. The base isn't exactly thick, but it's mid-November and the ski season is on!

- 2014/2015 -
Postscript, 5/18/15: Five weeks after I wrote off the snow season for dead, multiple spring storms have given us significant snow, particularly in the high country, preserving ski terrain in the few places where there was still a base, and keeping high passes closed. Sonora Pass opened mid-April for a short while, but is closed now approaching Memorial Day weekend.

4/13/15: There was a powder day last week, but springtime fresh snow never lasts. So we're back where we were, with a record early melt-off. Remaining resorts are closing very soon, and most of the backcountry ski action is already at Shasta and a few high country spots like the Sawtooths. I'll resume reports in November.

4/6/15: A half-foot or more of snow fell this weekend, and we could see a foot or more in the next day or so. This is very nice refresh for the few places that already had coverage, but it doesn't change the big picture, which is that we're just about at a record-early end of the snow season.

3/30/15: Mostly clear weather continues for another week, and the snowpack remains limited to late-spring favorite peaks and chutes (plus narrowing groomer runs at the resorts that remain open). Long-range: Significant snowfall by mid-April??

3/23/15: A few inches of fresh snow just added, mostly falling on dry ground. It'll continue warm and dry for the next week. This is an unprecedented early melt-off; it's like late-May out there. Unless we get some serious storm activity in April, this season is just about over.

3/16/15: Warm mostly dry conditions continue, and will continue for the next week. The Sierra snowpack is dwindling; even late-Spring favorites like Ellery Bowl and Virginia Lakes are marginal now.

3/9/15: A few inches of fresh snow are expected mid-week, at higher elevations anyway. Otherwise dry for the next week. The ski season is already starting to fizzle out; watch for several Sierra resorts to close for the season soon (including a few that are already temporarily closed awaiting more snow).

3/2/15: The Sierra got 1 to 2 feet of badly needed fresh snow this past weekend, which will keep Tahoe resorts limping along for a bit longer. It'll be dry the rest of the week.

2/23/15: A minor storm just missed Tahoe, but the Mammoth area is getting about a half-foot of cold fresh. Clear weather this week, with another bit of snowfall for the weekend.

2/16/15: This week will be sunny and warm; go high if you want snow coverage.

2/9/15: The major storm of the past few days delivered some surprises, with both more overall precip and more snow than was previously expected. Still though, most of the precip came down as rain, even at Tahoe resort elevations. End result: 1/2 to 3 feet of high-density fresh snow, the larger amounts only at the highest elevations. No new snow for the next week.

2/2/15: After a record dry January, we still have no significant snowfall in even the ten-day forecast. A big storm will roll in by the weekend, but it's likely to be all or nearly all rain in the Tahoe Sierra (and won't extend that far into the southern Sierra either).

1/26/15: A few inches of fresh snow are expected in the next day or two, with continued dry weather other than that. Snow is thin, even at the best of the resorts. For backcountry, only the most reliable springtime slopes are likely to be good.

1/19/15: Yet another dry week (or so) coming up. It'll be warming up some, too. That's going to hurt the relatively few areas where coverage remains decent.

1/12/15: Dry weather continues until the weekend. Starting then, we may or may not get a significant amount of new snow.

1/5/15: It's going to stay dry for the next week and more (except for possible light flurries late this week). Coverage is quite decent in some higher locations, thin to dry in various other areas.

12/29/14: We have a cold, mostly sunny week ahead. A few inches of light fluff is expected early in the week.

12/22/14: Snow cover is decent in the higher elevations, not so good below 7000'. We'll see some stormage mid-week, best guess being 1/2 foot of fresh, with unsettled weather into the weekend.

12/15/14: There's some decent snow to ski on, up to 3 feet or so and powdery on top, but only in relatively few popular areas, since the last major storm didn't push more than a little east of the Sierra Crest. This week, we'll see a few inches to maybe a foot of fresh cold snow. Should be nice, again, in certain areas.

12/8/14: Thanks to last week's warm precip, there's 2 to 3 feet of snow, though only in the higher elevations. A major storm is expected late this week, which should improve things quite a bit.

12/1/14: There's a start of a base from the past few days, variable but up to a foot in some areas. This week brings major storm activity, unfortunately a lot of it falling as rain, with the possibility of up to 2 feet of new snow in some areas.

11/24/14: There's no significant natural snow in the mountains yet, but that is likely to change next weekend. For now, numerous downhill resorts are open or opening this week on mostly man-made snow.

- 2013/2014 -
4/28/14: We had a nice bit of "winter" this past week, with more than a foot of fresh powder to enjoy, briefly, before it slushed out. Now it's going to be dry and warm again. The snowpack never did fully recover from the season's dry first half, and so we're already looking at the season's end-game. Get out to the high country soon if you can (Sonora and Tioga should be open by the weekend). I'll resume weekly reports in November.

4/21/14: We have some fresh stuff coming up this week, a few inches early in the week and maybe a foot by the weekend.

4/14/14: Warm and mostly dry, with some unsettled conditions (with only slight precip) by the weekend. Nearly all resorts will close next weekend; expect Sonora Pass to open in the next week or two, with high country coverage starting to fade not long after that.

4/7/14: There is now decent coverage above 7500', better than it's been much of this season. But the snowpack is only about half-or-so of normal, so now is the time to get out there and do your spring skiing; don't wait too long. Sunny and warm this week.

3/31/14: Winter arrived this past week, with 2 to 4 feet of powder. Conditions remain unsettled this week, clearing by the weekend.

3/24/14: The ski season gets another badly needed lease on life this coming week and weekend, which should add up to at least 2 feet of new snow.

3/17/14: It's been a warm week, and clear weather continues for at least another week.

3/10/14: A few inches of fresh snow fell this morning. The week ahead, though, is going to be dry and quite warm. Snow coverage is actually kind of spotty below 8000', and thin above that. By this weekend, it's going to feel like the usual late-April melt-off.

3/3/14: We just got 2 to 3 feet of fresh, and we may get up to a foot more by next weekend. This season is going to peter out early, so get out there while there's snow!

2/24/14: Mid-week, through much of next week, we'll get another nice big dumper storm set, yet again badly needed.

2/17/14: We got a bit more snow a few days ago. We'll get maybe an inch of fresh mid-week, and then it's going to clear up for a while. There is some coverage out there, at least, though it'll fade fast if we don't have a big March.

2/10/14: Within the past week we got 4 feet or more of wet heavy snow. It remains a far-below-average snowpack, but at least there is now widespread snow coverage, at higher elevations anyway. There will be some (warmish) precip in the week ahead.

2/3/14: There's 2 to 3 feet of new snow, which has pretty much restarted the snow season. More snow is badly needed. Fortunately, there's more unsettled weather ahead, with significant snowfall expected by and into the weekend.

1/27/14: Hey, we have unsettled weather this week, leading up to significant snowfall by the weekend!!!

1/20/14: Another week has passed with no real change: Minimal snowpack and little to no precip in the forecast. The long-range does show signs of improvement though, so, who knows, maybe February will be OK or even good.

1/13/14: We got a few inches in the last little storm, which should improve textures on man-made snow resort runs for a short while. Other than that, the Sierra snowpack is approaching non-existent, and no significant precip is expected for the next couple of weeks.

1/6/14: Dry weather and dry ground continues, though we may get an inch or two later this week.

12/30/13: Nothing new, nothing coming, and little or nothing on the ground. I'm planning to go sea-kayaking New Years Day.

12/23/13: No snowfall is predicted for the next week, nor for the week after that. The Sierra snowpack is too thin for anything but limited resort skiing. It's a good week for a desert trip.

12/16/13: We'll get a few inches later this week, on top of the current thin/spotty snow cover, and then that'll probably be it until after Christmas, or maybe until January. The only good news is that, at some resorts, snow quality on open groomed runs (including XC resort trails) is pretty good.

12/9/13: We got a nice storm late this past week, giving us up to 2 feet of fresh snow. That opens up nearly all Sierra resorts (for skiing groomers anyway), and it's a good start for the backcountry base. Unfortunately, it's looking pretty dry for the next week or two.

12/2/13: Still near-zilch snowpack; a half-foot or so of fresh is expected in the next day or so.

11/25/13: And another season limps to a start, mostly thanks to snowmaking at downhill resorts. In terms of natural snowpack, there's pretty much nothing (except south around Mammoth, where there's a foot or two), and nothing significant expected for the next week or so.

- 2012/2013 -
4/29/13: Oh, how about one more... Sonora Pass is already open, and there's good coverage up there (though it's mostly dry ground at 8500', not far below that high pass). This week will be even hotter than last week, so the season is rapidly approaching the end.

4/22/13: It's going to be a hot week. The snowpack is rapidly disappearing, though the usual late-spring favorites should be OK for a few more weeks. Look for Sonora and Tioga to open fairly soon. Enjoy your summer!

4/15/13: We just got a bit more fresh snow, but the melt-off resumes mid-week.

4/8/13: About a half-foot of fresh snow just arrived, but on top of what in many areas is dry ground. In early April, we're already looking at the season's end game: resorts are closing, and some popular backcountry is dry or spotty. If you go high (and not in the southern Sierra) there is still some good snow, but don't wait too long. Unsettled but warm into next weekend.

4/1/13: It's been a stormy weekend, adding up to a half foot of wet snow. Later this week, it'll rain and then cool off to bring more snow into the weekend.

3/25/13: About a half-foot fell mid-week, give or take depending on location. The coming week, weather starts to get unsettled, with the possibility of significant precip by the weekend. The snowpack is kind of dismal, by the way, so try to get your last ski tours in soon.

3/18/13: We'll get a mid-week break from warm sunny weather, with probably around a half foot of fresh falling, with warm sunny weather returning after that.

3/11/13: We got up to 2 feet of fresh snow in the past week, which was much needed. We have a dry week ahead though. Dry and warm.

3/4/13: Hey, we're supposed to get about a foot of fresh snow this week! We need it.

2/25/13: This past week's storm under-delivered, and (including Saturday night's inch or two) the week's total fresh was well under a foot in most places. Nothing significant is expected in the coming week. We need a major dump or two in March, or this ski season is going to wind down quickly.

2/18/13: Finally, we're supposed to get a pretty good storm this week, 1 to 2 feet of cold fluffy stuff expected by the weekend.

2/11/13: A few inches fell last week, but we haven't gotten a big dump since before New Years, so the snowpack is suffering. It's going to be dry and warmer this week.

2/4/13: We haven't gotten much snow for a while, and so snow is crusty and coverage is hurting in places. We'll get maybe a half-foot late this week and then sunny conditions return.

1/28/13: The expected weekend storm kind of fizzled; there's just a few inches of fresh. Dry week ahead.

1/21/13: It's remained cool and dry, but that's going to change in a few days, with a significant storm arriving by the weekend.

1/14/13: The Sierra got up to a foot of cold Utah-grade powder last week. For the coming week, it'll warm up back to normal temps, and don't expect any precip for a little while.

1/7/13: Cold conditions continue. We'll get some fresh stuff later in the week.

12/31/12: The Sierra powder pack got refreshed a bit this past weekend, but from here it's looking like the start of a dry spell. There may be a few inches this coming weekend though.

12/24/12: There's quite a lot of fresh snow, and we'll see at least another foot (of dry stuff) mid-week. Then, cold and unsettled into the weekend, when there's a good chance of plenty more snow. Enjoy the holidays!

12/17/12: With the last storm, there's OK to good coverage. More snow is falling today, should be a fresh foot or so by tomorrow, and then plenty more fresh stuff by the weekend. Get out there before the holiday crowds!

12/10/12: It's a strange snowpack lately, with decent coverage above 8000' or so, and bare ground at 6000'. We have colder weather coming, though, with about a foot of fresh and light arriving Wednesday, and more fresh stuff likely to start falling around next weekend.

12/3/12: A rather remarkable set of wet storms just wrapped up this past weekend. The outcome: High country got plenty of snow, upper elevation resort terrain got as much as 4 feet or so of fresh cement, and lower elevation resort areas (say, the bases of most Lake Tahoe resorts) just got drenched. A mixed bag, but for early December, we've definitely had worse. More warm precip coming this week.

11/26/12: A major storm cycle arrives on Wednesday and continuing into the weekend. It'll be on the warm side (and rain in many places), but mostly this looks like a good one. On top of the current 1 foot base, this is going to be a great start.

11/19/12: We have somewhat of a base already, a foot or more in some places. Also expect a few inches of fresh (though not much south of Tahoe) later this week.

- 2011/2012 -
5/7/12: This year's below-average snowpack has been rapidly disappearing, and this week's hot weather is going to kill it off in a lot of places. The most reliable peaks and gullies should be good for another weekend or two, though, so get your last turns in soon. Sonora Pass opened last week, and Tioga Road opens today. Enjoy your summer; I'll resume weekly updates in November.

4/30/12: Cooling some this week with some precip approaching the weekend.

4/23/12: It was a hot weekend, but unsettled weather returns this week.

4/16/12: That may be it for the fresh cement deliveries. It's going to warm up this week.

4/9/12: Another snowy week coming up, should be a foot or more altogether. Don't be fooled though... It remains a below-average snowpack, so if you want to get some backcountry touring, do it soon.

4/2/12: The latest storm set that dropped about one foot of fresh is winding down. Clearing and warming this week.

3/26/12: Unsettled weather has kept the snow fresh, and more of that continues this week, with some significant precip coming on the weekend.

3/19/12: The storm group that's winding down added about 4 feet. Light precip resumes into the coming weekend.

3/12/12: Miracle March? A big storm arrives mid-week (bigger around and north of Tahoe than to the south), and stormy conditions are expected to continue.

3/5/12: Last week outdid the expectations and delivered up to 4 feet of fresh snow. We're still at under 40% of normal snowpack, so try to get out there before the season winds down.

2/27/12: A foot or more (perhaps less going south from Tahoe) of fresh is on its way this week, which will help keep the ski season limping along a bit longer.

2/20/12: There's OK coverage in many places, thin but the best of the season so far. Dry week ahead.

2/13/12: We're getting about a foot or so in the current storm cycle, and maybe a bit more next weekend.

2/6/12: We got a few inches of refresh last week, and will get an inch or two more in the next few days. Mostly though, it's thin, too thin for much more than groomed downhill, groomed XC, and some light-duty backcountry.

1/30/12: The Sierra at last does have snow, but it isn't much. No significant snow is expected for the next week, nor probably for the week after that. It being likely that we'll still have only a foot or two of snow on the ground with what will be just over a month to go before Spring, it's starting to look like a doomed season.

1/23/12: We got up to 4 feet of fresh over the weekend. Keep in mind that's mostly on top of bare ground, so more is certainly needed, but at least there's snow cover. Nothing new coming for the next week.

1/16/12: Finally! A big storm is on the way as we approach the weekend. A little on the wet side, and it might not do as well much south of Tahoe, but we'll take it.

1/9/12: Nuthin'.

1/2/12: Ditto (sigh). The Sierra remains pretty much dry for yet another week.

12/26/11: No significant new snow expected in the next week, though maybe our luck will turn the week after New Years.

12/19/11: The Sierra is more or less bare, and no significant snow is expected through the end of the month. Some downhill resorts have OK conditions on man-made snow.

12/12/11: With a snowpack that's only inches thick, we have no significant new snow in the forecast (aside from maybe an inch later in the week).

12/5/11: Resorts with snowmaking are the only game in town; more dry weather for at least the next week.

11/28/11: Cool and clear for the next week or so, other than a possible dusting in a few days; the thin snowpack is fading away, or all gone depending on slope aspect.

11/21/11: There's about a foot of snow on the ground following last week's storms. We can expect just a bit more on top of that around Thanksgiving Day, and then more clear weather. Many downhill resorts are opening this week, thanks to snowmaking.

- 2010/2011 -
6/20/11: Warm weather continues; Tioga Road just opened. Snow is still more than 10' deep though much of the high country, but surface quality is starting to deteriorate in places. For peaks and gullies, there are still a few weeks of good times, and there are going to be remnant snow slopes through August. What a season! I'll resume reports in November.

6/13/11: It's heating up some this week; chance of some unsettled weather on the weekend.

6/6/11: Storm clouds are clearing, with spring conditions returning to the high country through next weekend. Sonora Pass is likely to reopen (it was open briefly a week ago) by the weekend. Ski conditions in the high country remain outstanding, so get out there while it lasts.

5/30/11: Most of a foot of fresh in the Sierra this weekend. More unsettled weather coming for the next week.

5/23/11: Mostly warm weather, with some spring storm activity late in the week.

5/16/11: We actually got more than a foot of fresh snow this past weekend, and significantly more is expected in the next couple of days.

5/9/11: Cooler this week, with some storm activity expected by the weekend.

5/2/11: Very warm weather all week.

4/25/11: After a just a bit more fresh snow, it'll clear up for the rest of the week.

4/18/11: Unsettled weather continues, with the possibility of significant snow mid-week.

4/11/11: It's springtime and there's lots of snow. Get out there!

4/4/11: It's been warm for about a week, but that's about to change; cool unsettled conditions are about to move in, with some new snow arriving by the weekend.

3/28/11: It's snowed well over 10 feet in the past two weeks, leaving the snowpack at near-record depths throughout the range. The weather's mood changes now, though: We have sunshine this week, getting quite warm by the weekend.

3/21/11: Wow, up to 7 feet of fresh in the past week, and there's plenty more on the way this coming week.

3/14/11: Stormy weather ahead, with a few feet likely by the weekend, more in the north than the south.

3/7/11: Cool unsettled weather continues, but not much more snow for now.

2/28/11: Yet more snow arrived late last week, plentiful and remarkably cold and light. It's clear now, but we can expect a couple feet more snow in a few days.

2/21/11: The Sierra snowpack has opened a new chapter, with 7 feet of fresh, give or take, in the past week. Plenty more fresh snow arrives by next weekend.

2/14/11: After a month and a half of mostly dry weather, the storm window reopens this week. Look for 4 feet or more of fresh, perhaps more from Tahoe northwards.

2/7/11: Dry conditions continue, though it's supposed to cool off a bit. Chance of snow next weekend.

1/31/11: We got a badly needed half-foot to freshen things up, but it's another dry week from here.

1/24/11: The dry spell continues in the coming week. Look for icy snow (at best), except on south-facing slopes where you might find nice "spring" snow. Or go skate-skiing.

1/17/11: No precip expected for another week or more.

1/10/11: We'll get some fresh snow this week; not a lot, but hopefully enough to refresh the surface a bit.

1/3/11: The Sierra snowpack is glorious, but it's now time for a week of cool and clear. All that powder from last week's storms is about to ice up.

12/27/10: Our epic winter continues with yet more snow dumpage later this week.

12/20/10: This past week was huge, and we have more heavy snow to look forward to through Christmas. This is easily one of the biggest early-season snow years in decades.

12/13/10: Major stormage resumes this week; 4 feet or more by the weekend.

12/6/10: With the latest boost, we have a very decent snowpack for this early in the season. A warm storm arrives in a few days, mostly from Tahoe northwards, which could give us a bit more.

11/29/10: Winter continues to shape up nicely, with another foot of fresh just arrived, and more to come by the weekend.

11/22/10: This is our first significant snowfall of the season, and it's a goody! We could have as much as 6 feet by the time it all clears mid-week.

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