Sierra Snow Diary

12/11/23: Last week's little storm delivered more than expected, up to about a foot in some places, badly needed, but we need more. It'll be clear for the following week or so.

12/4/23: A few inches added over the weekend, and we'll get a few more inches later this week; so still, not much snow.

11/27/23: We're still awaiting our first big storm, which doesn't look to be coming any time soon. Some waves of precip arrive around this coming weekend, but probably only bringing several inches.

11/20/23: A weekend storm brought a half-foot (give or take) of new snow, which is a small start for a base, and will help supplement snowmaking at resorts going into December. Mostly clear for the coming week and beyond.

- 2022/2023 -
6/19/23: Clear summer weather ahead. Pretty much all access roads are open, except Tioga Road, which (including Eastside access to the pass) currently remains closed. Snow remains plentiful above about 9500', though snow quality is a mixed bag. Mammoth will be open for another two months. This has been quite a ski season! I'll resume reports in November.

6/12/23: The afternoon thunderstorm thing is winding down. Snow in the usual spring skiing places is plentiful, if getting cuppy at the lower angles. Ebbetts and Sonora Passes just opened, and eastside access roads are improving.

6/5/23: Monsoon season is here, with thundershower activity (and some snow accumulation in the high country in some areas) increasing into the coming week. Things are supposed to clear up going into the following week though.

5/29/23: More of the same, with afternoon thunderstorms continuing to be a factor (some days it'll be briefly heavy precip in some locations). Sonora Pass is cleared, so it may open soon.

5/22/23: Still lots of spring snow. Warm with chance of afternoon thunderstorms most days continues.

5/15/23: It's warm now, and with a summer-like afternoon thunderstorms pattern likely later in the week and into the weekend. Lots of snow though!

5/8/23: More than a foot of new snow in the past week, downright powdery if you caught it quickly enough. More unsettled weather in the next few days but not a lot of accumulation, clearing and warmer into the weekend.

5/1/23: The new month brings back wintry conditions, with daily precip most of the coming week. Some rain in the mix probably, but we're looking at up to a foot of fresh snowfall in the next seven days.

4/24/23: Some cool snowy conditions blew through briefly last week, and there was powder to be had if you caught it quick. That was then; it's looking like clear and warmer weather for the rest of April. The snowpack is huge, so get out and ski some corn snow!

4/17/23: There's a wintry interval moving through early this week, adding a bit of fresh snow. Spring conditions are returning, though.

4/10/23: Spring weather has arrived! What that means, following so many big storms in recent weeks, is that there's a lot of unconsolidated "slop" snow out there, some of it sliding pretty easily. Further warming going into the weekend.

4/3/23: This past month would have been a "Miracle March" except that, unlike a lot of recent years, there had been a well above average snowpack to begin with. So yeah, there's a lot of snow, even breaking some records in the southern Sierra. Coming up this week, some more accumulation today, a break for some sunshine, and then unsettled weather going into the weekend.

3/27/23: Snow continues yet more! A foot or two arriving early- to mid-week, and some lighter snow towards the weekend.

3/20/23: We got some more snow, on the wet side, 1-2 feet around Tahoe, and more than that further south. There's more coming in the next few days, more than a foot around Tahoe and much more than that in the southern Sierra. Unsettled weather into the weekend but not with a lot of new snow.

3/13/23: The past week was stormy, but it was wet enough that "only" a few feet were added in some areas; higher and more in the southern Sierra, it was a lot of feet though! Coming up, heavy snow (up to another couple of feet) continuing early this week, then clearing, before more storm action around the weekend.

3/6/23: Our snowy winter continues! Earlier last week, 4 to 6 feet of fresh, and this past weekend up until today up to 3 more feet. Expect a couple more feet in the next couple of days, and then we'll have another major storm set going into and through the coming weekend.

2/27/23: What a week! Crazy winds and lots of cold snow (5-6 feet around Tahoe, even more further south). Up to 4 more feet coming before all this dials down later in the week. Some non-huge precip coming up on the weekend too.

2/20/23: The past couple of weeks of mostly dry weather is about to end; some precip arrives by tomorrow, with a very cold storm system moving through later in the week (2+ feet expected for the week).

2/13/23: We saw a few inches of fresh snow late last week, and we'll probably see another inch or two around tomorrow. Later in the week, the coast is expecting some storm activity, but that isn't expected to reach the Sierra. So, going into the holiday weekend, we have an excellent snowpack, but don't expect a soft fresh snow surface.

2/6/23: The storm action that just wound down brought up to 2 feet of fresh snow in parts of the range, maybe a bit less in the Tahoe area. Coming up: Sunny and warming up a little this week, with some precip rolling in around the weekend, still unclear if it'll be an inch or so or significantly more than that.

1/30/23: A half-foot or so just added, keeping things fresh. Clear and cool most of the coming week, with some moderate storm action going into the weekend, probably another half foot or so by a week from now.

1/23/23: Last week added a foot or so of new snow on top of the amazing January snowpack. Up ahead: Cool and dry this week, though we may get a couple of inches on the weekend.

1/16/23: Huge snow in the past week, 8 feet or more in 7 days. Significant but not major snow continues until things clear out later this week.

1/9/23: Stormy weather continues! The past week brought mostly wet snow, cumulatively about 3 feet at Tahoe mountain elevations, 4+ further south and higher. The coming week (mostly the next day or so, but unsettled all week) is likely to drop another 4 feet.

1/2/23: A wild week: In the last 7 days, Tahoe lake level got 3 feet, higher elevations around Tahoe got 6 feet (a lot of it high water content), and Sierra high country surely got even more than that. Waves of (colder) storms continue in the coming week, with cumulative totals by next Monday looking to be 4 feet or more.

12/26/22: Stormy times are ahead for most of the coming week, with several waves of precip, some of which may fall as rain. Overall, cumulatively for the next seven days, look for 3 to 6 feet of fresh snow in mountain areas, depending on elevation.

12/19/22: Cool dry weather continues for the next week (aside from possible minor precip tonight going into tomorrow); some warming towards the weekend. Snow coverage going into the holiday period is excellent.

12/12/22: The intense storm that just wound down delivered up to 5 feet of new snow, on top of an already decent base. From here, it's clear and cold for the next week or so.

12/5/22: The new season says: Game on! Up to 4 feet of snow in the past several days, and another big storm rolling in around the weekend.

11/28/22: It's been dry for a while, but we've got some major snowstorm action expected later in the week and into the weekend.

11/21/22: There was 2-3 feet of snow (more like 4 around Mammoth) that fell nearly two weeks ago, the remains of which give us some skiable snow (in places, particularly where it was groomed into place) at Sierra resorts for Thanksgiving weekend. No additional snow is expected in the next week, however.

- 2021/2022 -
5/16/22: It got warm again. Sonora Pass opened (you can get to Tioga from the east). There's some good skiing to be had above 9500' for now, but hit it early in the day, because all that April snow turns to slop in the afternoon. It was a weird snow year (stormy December and April, mostly dry in between), but five months of snowpack (plus skiing in October) is nothing to complain about. See you next season!

5/9/22: A surprisingly cold storm just dropped most of a foot of fresh snow in the Sierra, with maybe up to another half-foot by tomorrow. Then it warms up again through the rest of the week.

5/2/22: No significant precip last week, but it continued cool. This week, it's staying clear but getting warmer. There may be some unsettled weather around the weekend.

4/25/22: Belated winter continued last week, with another 3 feet or more bringing some final powder days to the Sierra. Spring returns this week, sunny and warmer, with possible unsettled weather on the weekend.

4/18/22: With the below average snowpack rapidly melting off, and resorts starting to close up or partially closing terrain, we actually just finished the snowiest week in months, storms adding up to 3 feet in some places. Cool storms continue this week, with clearing by the weekend.

4/11/22: Last week's heat wave has ended. And now we have a winter storm that should drop about a foot by tonight. It'll stay cold, with more snow coming later in the week.

4/4/22: The Spring melt-off continues, with heat coming on particularly strong later in the week. Get out there and enjoy some corn snow, because it isn't going to last long.

3/28/22: Last week was downright hot, and the current storm cycle blowing through (last night through tonight should end up adding more than a half-foot of fresh and wet in some places) doesn't change the fact that the spring melt-off is well under way. It'll be generally dry and warm in the coming week.

3/21/22: The past storm blew through on the wet side, dropping up to about a half foot at the upper reaches of some ski resorts. The coming week is going to be very warm, with a chance of precip on the weekend. With a dry Jan-Feb and no major storms in March, we're looking at a Spring ski season that's going to wind down early this year.

3/14/22: We're not getting the Miracle March we wanted, but the the smattering of significant but non-major snowstorms continues in the coming week, with probably around a half foot in the next day or so, and possibly more like a foot on the weekend.

3/7/22: The snowpack got refreshed, up to most of a foot, in the past few days, and the skiing is good. It'll be dry in the coming week, aside from some unsettled weather around the weekend.

2/28/22: The skiing's pretty decent after last week's foot of new snow, even if it wasn't a huge storm. More non-huge fresh snow coming up mid-week into the weekend.

2/21/22: We got a few inches early last week. This week, we're expecting as much as a foot of fresh by Wednesday morning; then dry through the weekend.

2/14/22: An inch or two of snow accumulation is expected overnight, the first precip in more than a month. But that's it for now; the rest of the coming week is dry.

2/7/22: Once again, dry weather is expected for the next week and beyond. The difference being, it's supposed to heat up this week as well.

1/31/22: This ends a record (or near record in some locations) dry January. But since it followed a record snowy December, the snowpack is still above average (with decent hardpack conditions on groomed resort snow, and fun "spring" snow on sun-exposed south-facing backcountry slopes). Another dry week (and more) coming up, though, so we're destined to see below-average snow cover in the coming month.

1/24/22: Yet another dry week ahead.

1/17/22: Dry for the past week, and dry for the next week. With the forecast window approaching the end of the month, it can now be said that we're in the middle of what will be one of the driest Januarys on record. Fortunately, December had record snowfall, so the snowpack is only going to fade to seasonal average.

1/10/22: Last week's couple of mild storms brought several inches of wet snow. Dry weather is expected for the coming week and beyond.

1/3/22: On-and-off stormy weather of the past week brought about another foot of snow, adding to the huge previous snowfall that mountain communities are still recovering from. More of the same this week: Cool unsettled weather, with storms early and then late in the week bringing most of a foot cumulatively, though less that in the Sierra to the south of Tahoe.

12/27/21: There's been up to 8 feet or more of new snow in the past six days, leaving us with closed roads and resorts, power outages, and avalanches. The current storm should bring another foot or so, and the rest of the week will be a break from the heavy snow, though remaining unsettled and cold.

12/20/21: More than 4 feet fell since last Monday, adding to the storm that was already under way. It's sunny now, but the next storm set rolls in tomorrow evening, and it's looking huge. Expect heavy snow, clearing maybe a few days after Christmas. So, the holiday report is that there's enough snow for everything to be open, but storms may close upper lifts and maybe even roads.

12/13/21: Last week brought a bit of fresh snow, but this week is the real deal: Up to 2 feet of fresh has landed by mid-day today, and several more feet are expected, some from the current storm through tomorrow and some more Wednesday-Thursday. Winter has arrived!

12/6/21: Light precip early this coming week, with actual snow accumulation (a half foot or so?) expected later in the week. This is on top of no base, so more will be needed.

11/29/21: It's staying dry for the next week, and then some. It's still hiking and biking in the greater Tahoe area.

11/22/21: I'll start off this first report of the season by noting that there was skiable snow, a few feet, back in October. Now, however, that's mostly gone, and we're looking at a rather dry start of the regular ski season. This coming long weekend, resorts are relying on man-made snow for the most part, and some resorts are waiting until December to open. No precip expected for the next week or two.

- 2020/2021 -
5/2/21: For some unknown reason, Sonora Pass isn't open yet, but you can drive up to Tioga from the east. Warm weather and the below-average snowpack means that snow is best above 9000', and even there coverage and depth aren't great. So get your last turns in soon and have a good summer!

4/26/21: Today was a bit of a powder day, with a half foot or more of fresh falling through last night. Warm days ahead will bring back the corn though, very soon. Good spring skiing remains at higher locations, but not with a lot of depth.

4/19/21: Mostly sunny warm conditions continue (with some precip moving through briefly midweek). But then, this past week, a storm band that I predicted to be "minor" dropped a surprising amount of snow, mostly just a few inches, but up to a foot in certain areas!

4/12/21: Another mostly warm sunny week ahead (with some minor late-day precip possible here or there). Coverage is suffering on some aspects (and most ski resorts are closed or will close this coming weekend). There's still some great corn snow out there, though; this is a below-average season so grab it before it's gone.

4/5/21: Yet another mostly sunny week with no significant precip. Get out there for some fine spring skiing!

3/29/21: And it's another sunny warm week ahead, though windy early in the week and going into the weekend.

3/22/21: Spring has begun. Last week brought a foot or so of new snow. This week, it's going to be mostly sunny and warmer, with a couple bits of unsettled weather and maybe minor precip.

3/15/21: Predictions for the past week were exceeded, with some areas getting 2-3 feet of new snow (through today as the latest wave winds down). Coming week: It's staying cool, and a foot or more of new snow arrives by the weekend.

3/8/21: We just got a several inches refresher. This week will be cool and unsettled, with a foot or so of new snow mostly around mid-week.

3/1/21: Dry for the past week, and dry for the coming week aside from probably some not-major storm activity on the weekend.

2/22/21: Some few-inches storms came through in the last few days (some higher areas may have accumulated nearly a foot). The coming week will be cool and dry, except for some possible very minor precip late in the week.

2/15/21: The past several days (through today) adds up to 2 feet of snow. Increasingly unsettled weather this week will lead up to a storm around Friday, adding another half-foot or more. It's a below-average but decent snowpack, so get out and enjoy.

2/8/21: Up to a foot of fresh early in the past week. Increasingly unsettled weather this week, with maybe another foot or so in the storm that goes into the weekend.

2/1/21: Last week brought this season's first truly major storms, adding 5 to 7 feet (I heard 8' for Mammoth) to what was previously not great coverage. We're still below average, but what an amazing difference. Another foot or more arriving early this week.

1/25/21: The dry spell is over, with most of a foot in some areas added in the past few days. The big stuff finally arrives later this week, with several feet of snow likely by a week from now.

1/18/21: It's been dry and warm for the past week, and will be dry and cooler the coming week, with a not major storm arriving going into the weekend. Coverage is starting to suffer, so more snow is definitely needed.

1/11/21: Following the up-to-a-foot wet storm a week ago (and minor rain/snow a few days ago), we're in another dry spell now, with no significant precip expected for the next week or so (California's southern Cascades will see some snow mid-week).

1/4/21: The past week dropped a few inches here and a few more inches there, adding up to a half foot or more in some places. The storm moving in now should add up to another foot. Then, mostly clear, with some possible snow (inches) towards the weekend.

12/28/20: About a foot added, in some areas, in the last few days; the snowpack is still on the thin side, but it's coming along. Coming up: Unsettled with a bit of snow mid-week, with a possibility of storm action on the weekend.

12/21/20: Up to a foot fell middle of last week; less than half that in the north Tahoe and Donner areas. This week will mostly be dry, with some light showers on Tuesday, and a probably not major storm around the weekend. The holidays scoop: There is coverage, and resorts (downhill and XC) are open (with social distancing, and purchase and general travel restrictions), though with less than great coverage. Backcountry is happening as well, though quality and base depth will be a mixed bag.

12/14/20: About a foot of badly needed snow just landed in the past 24 hours, so once again, there is a base for future storms to build on. Another foot-or-so storm is expected later this week. Resorts are mostly open, and some backcountry should work, but be aware of Covid travel prohibitions.

12/7/20: Our December dry spell continues, with a thin snowpack. Look for adequate coverage at resorts that are keeping snow on groomed slopes well maintained, better yet with snowmaking.

11/30/20: That decent start for a base a week or two ago needs more on top of it, but unfortunately it's clear weather through next weekend.

11/23/20: We got some snow in the past week, adding up to a couple of feet in some higher areas, a good starting base, and it's been adequate to open resorts and for some careful backcountry runs. It's dry weather ahead, though.

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