Does it snow in Lake Tahoe?

Does it snow in Lake Tahoe? The answer is a resounding yes! Although, we know: you want to know more than that.

Considered one of the oldest natural lakes in the U.S and the entire world, Lake Tahoe, located on the border between the states of California and Nevada, offers some of the most enchanting natural landscapes and views in the entire United States, not only because of the beauty of the lake itself but also because of the mountainous panorama that surrounds it.

Likewise, Lake Tahoe offers all kinds of recreation to its tourist, from winter sports like skiing to summer sports like mountain biking and hiking. You can even enjoy floating casinos and cruises throughout its more than 190 square miles of extension!

In short, there's never an inadequate time to visit Lake Tahoe. Although certainly, you will only be able to enjoy the ski resorts and snowy landscapes of the Sierra Nevada mountains during the winter.

In other words, if you consider yourself a lover of landscapes and snow sports, winter is undoubtedly the ideal season to visit Lake Tahoe.


    Snow in Lake Tahoe?

    Snow in Lake Tahoe

    According to the Köppen climate classification, Lake Tahoe exhibits a dry-summer continental climate (Dsb) throughout its 191 square miles, which is not surprising given its location (Sierra Nevada) and considerable elevation (6225 ft.)

    In this sense, snowfall is not a strange meteorological phenomenon in Lake Tahoe. Indeed, most of the precipitation of Lake Tahoe falls in the form of snow, especially between November and April.

    In short, Lake Tahoe is an exceptionally snowy region, primarily due to its elevation and location. Such is the influence of these meteorological factors that it is possible to record snowfall almost all year round in Lake Tahoe.

    Oddly enough, July and August are the only months in which snowfall has not been recorded.

    The climate of Lake Tahoe


    As mentioned in the previous section, Lake Tahoe has a dry-summer continental climate (Dsb). In other words, its summers are hot and dry, with precipitation of less than an inch of accumulation on average, and its winters are cold, with moderate and heavy snowfall throughout the season and even part of the fall and spring.

    Despite experiencing truly-dry summers, the average annual rainfall of Lake Tahoe is remarkably high, ranging from 55 inches on the west side of the basin to 26 inches on the opposite end.

    Noteworthy, Lake Tahoe's precipitation principally falls as snow, so its accumulation is overwhelming and dangerous. Indeed, the snowfalls can cause significant flooding in the region after their melting, which usually occurs between the end of spring and the beginning of summer.

    As far as Lake Tahoe temperatures are concerned, January is the coldest month in the region, with an average temperature of 41.0 °F and an average low of 15.1 °F; while July is the hottest and driest month of all, with an average temperature between 77.9°F and 44.4°F and an average rainfall of 0.26 inches.


    Summer weather characteristics

    • Highest record temperature: 99 °F /37.2 °C (July 22, 1988.)
    • Average high: 92.5 °F (33.6 °C).
    • Average low: 73.4 °F (23 °C).
    • Average precipitation per summer month: 0.4 inches (1 cm).

    Winter weather characteristics

    • Lowest record temperature: -16 °F / -26.6 °C (December 9, 1972.)
    • Average high: 40.8 °F (4.8 °C).
    • Average low: 20.65 °F (-6.3 °C).
    • Average precipitation per winter month: 5.232 inches (13.2 cm).
    • Average snowfall per winter month: 38.2 inches (97 cm).

    Precipitation and other weather characteristics

    • Range average annual precipitation: 55 - 26 inches (139.7 - 66.04 cm).
    • Average annual snowfall: 190.7 inches (484.3 cm).
    • Average frost per year (days): 231 - 232.

    When does it snow in Lake Tahoe? 🌨

    Snow in Lake Tahoe?

    Does it snow in Lake Tahoe in September?

    Yes, it might snow in September. However, the chances of seeing a snowfall are minimal. Indeed, if it did happen, it would hardly be measurable.

    Does it snow in Lake Tahoe in October?

    Yes, it does! Compared to September, the snowfall increases in intensity and frequency considerably during this month, easily exceeding two inches of accumulation on average.

    Does it snow in Lake Tahoe in November?

    Yes, it does! Oddly enough, snow accumulation levels exceed fifteen inches on average in November, which means an increase of more than 600% compared to the previous month.

    Does it snow in Lake Tahoe in December?

    Yes, it does! Once winter begins, the snowfalls start to get heavier in Lake Tahoe, doubling its accumulation compared to the previous month, which is truly remarkable, considering that the snowpack levels of November already exceeded fifteen inches on average.

    One of the most impressive White Christmases in Lake Tahoe in recent years has undoubtedly been the one that occurred in 2010. Although there were no detailed records of it, it was intense enough to leave a considerable layer of snow on the banks of the lake during Christmas.

    Does it snow in Lake Tahoe in January?

    Yes, it does! January is by far the snowiest month on the lake. On average, about 45.9 inches of snow accumulation is expected in Lake Tahoe this month. 

    Does it snow in Lake Tahoe in February?

    Yes, it does! Although compared to the previous month, snowfall decreases considerably in February; these continue to be even higher than the levels usually recorded in December.

    Does it snow in Lake Tahoe in March?

    Yes, it does! Despite the arrival of spring, snowfall continues to register in Lake Tahoe. Oddly enough, the accumulation levels exhibited during this month are the same as those of December (35.9.)

    Does it snow in Lake Tahoe in April?

    Yes, it does! As of this month, the snowfall is starting to get lighter. However, these snowfalls continue to be heavier than the snowfall recorded in any average city in the eastern United States.

    Does it snow in Lake Tahoe in May?

    Yes, it does! Despite being considered a spring month, Lake Tahoe continues to receive moderate snowfall in May.

    Does it snow in Lake Tahoe in June?

    Yes, it does! Although, hopefully, this summer snowfall will hardly be measurable.

    How much does it snow in Lake Tahoe? 🌨

    Next, we present an informative table on different climatological parameters of Lake Tahoe, which includes the average snowfall per month expressed in inches:

    Average low (°F)19.119.922.826.932.838.644.443.739.032.325.820.830.5
    Record low (°F)−14−15−6592422282191−16−16
    Average precipitation (inches)5.975.
    Average snowfall inches (cm)45.936.535.

    Informative table on different climatological parameters of Lake Tahoe

    The above data comes from climatic data provided by The Western Regional Climate Center.

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