No Snow

It was a nice, warm sunny day at Lake Tahoe. There was a little nip in the air, but not bad at all. The problem was, it was the first weekend of December, and ski season was supposed to be well underway. But in fact, there wasn’t even an inch of snow on the ground, not at any elevation. Nor was there a cloud in the sky, heralding any future precipitation. A fact which could spell trouble for both the economic picture at Tahoe, and for our water situation come next year.

Apparently we’re well on track to having the second-driest calendar year in recorded history. On top of the record-breaking dry spell we had this summer, this fall has also had some of the lowest amounts of precipitation in recent memory. Lake Tahoe’s levels are dropping, the ski resorts are delaying their openings or operating only a few lifts on artificial snow, and ski resort employees are still out of work. When you get two dry years in a row it starts to make people worry about drought, and if the rest of the winter is anything like we’ve seen so far in 2007, we could be in trouble.

Heavenly Valley Snowmakers
Snow-making machines running at Heavenly on a sunny Sunday

Things might be looking up, though. There is a storm on its way in, that’s supposed to be hitting us in the next couple of days. Here’s the blurb from the National Weather Service bulletin:

For most of Western Nevada…there is a good potential for several inches of snow in the mountains and foothills. Snow is also likely down to valley floors…however exact amounts are not certain. Anywhere from an inch up to several inches of snow is possible.

I never underestimate the capability of these storms to disappoint us, though, so check back on the weekend to see how much precipitation we really got.

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