Laurie Johnson

2019 Lake Tahoe Snow Information


The 2019 Lake Tahoe snow and Sierra snowpack is at 153% of normal levels after the many winter storms that rolled through our area in February. This snowpack is important in keeping the water levels for the entire state at normal levels. For those of us who live at Lake Tahoe, the snowpack keeps our economy thriving.

While our ski season generally ends in April, many Lake Tahoe ski resorts will be staying open until after Easter Sunday.

If you are planning to come up to Lake Tahoe or Truckee to enjoy one of our many powder days, below are tips that can help make your journey safer:

Check weather in advance. 

A trip from the Bay Area can usually take 3 hours, but if there is a storm in the mountains, the ice and snow can turn this into a 6 hour drive. Plan your trip when there isn't a huge storm headed to the Sierras during your drive.

Monitor road conditions.

In the Bay Area, you can check road conditions at For information about all California highway conditions, go to the Caltrans website to check for road closures and whether chains are required.

Take Your Time.

Mountain roads covered in snow can make your drive dangerous.  A spin out can best be avoided if you drive slowly. When chains are required, the speed limit is reduced to 30 miles per hour.

Prepare for delays.

Those unfamiliar with driving in the snow will often create problems for others. Accidents can cause road closures and lengthy delays. It is not uncommon to wait long hours for the road to clear so make sure to fill your tank prior to driving into the Sierras.

Carry Supplies.

If the car is turned off, it can quickly become cold so pack blankets. Avoiding using your heater can save gas and a blanket can keep you warm while you wait. Also pack plenty of water and food. It is a good idea to carry a shovel and a plastic tarp if you need to put chains on your car or dig yourself out of a snow bank.  Other items that can help you in an emergency include a flashlight, extra clothing, boots, hats and gloves. Prepare for the emergency in advance by packing necessary gear.

Avoiding A Spinout.

If you lose control of your vehicle, don't panic. Keep your hands on the wheel, shift into neutral, and steer into the skid. This means to steer into the direction that your backend is attempting to go. It is not important that you stop - but it is important to straighten the car out. Don't slam on the brakes as this will exacerbate the skid. The best way to avoid a spinout is to drive slowly and know the road conditions to prepare for ice and snow ahead.

Driving on snow is always risky but by following the above advice, you can come and enjoy the snow while avoiding the risks involved. Whether you are buying or selling a home at Lake Tahoe, I would love to show you how  I can help you.



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