La Niña or El Niño? Either Way Chairlifts Will Be Turning Early in Tahoe
The recent Presidential debates have produced a lot of hot air and cold fronts across the U.S. Perhaps the only other state-side debate creating such polarizing views is the annual argument over whether the upcoming winter will be of the La Niña or El Niño variety.
Thankfully Lake Tahoe wins either way. The reason being is that the region sits at the southern tip of the typical storm track experienced during a La Niña season and at the upper end of the impact zone historically targeted by El Niño winters. Not convinced? Take a look at the evidence. Last year’s powerful “Godzilla El Niño” winter had chairlifts turning in Lake Tahoe from early November to the end of May while the 2010-11 “Attack of La Niña” dropped over 650 inches of snow on the slopes in Tahoe. See, win-win!
“Long-range forecasts have gone back and forth a bit this preseason, but recent cooling of ocean surface temperatures off the coast of South America now signal a weak La Niña weather pattern heading into winter,” says Bryan Allegretto, the trusted voice behind The Tahoe Daily Forecast on OpenSnow.com. “The beauty is Lake Tahoe is perfectly positioned to take advantage of either La Niña or El Niño storm tracks, and the resorts have already seen high elevation snow this season during the month of October.”
The Lake Tahoe ski resorts are ready for another snow-filled winter with many targeting earlier than normal openings in early November. Here’s a rundown of the scheduled opening dates for all seven Ski Lake Tahoe resorts for the upcoming 2016-17 winter season. Let the debate between La Niña and El Niño rage on, either way, it means “mucha nieve” for Lake Tahoe.
Mt. Rose-Ski Tahoe: November 18
Squaw Valley | Alpine Meadows: November 23
Heavenly Mountain Resort: November 23
Kirkwood Mountain Resort: November 26
Northstar California: November 23
Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort: Weather/Conditions Permitting
Homewood Mountain Resort: December 9
*weather and conditions permitting; all dates subject to change
Visit Ski Lake Tahoe’s weather pages for recent snowfall totals and updated conditions at the regional ski resorts. For trip planning tips, take Ski Lake Tahoe’s “Vacation Like a Local” quiz to find out which mountain lifestyle best describes you and get insider tips on getting the most out of your vacation.