Storm dumps 9 inches of snow at 1 Tahoe resort, nearly twice as much as other Sierra ski areas


Saturday’s rainstorm that passed quickly over the Bay Area stopped directly over Kirkwood Mountain Resort, dumping 9 inches of snow, nearly twice as much as other resorts in the Sierra.

“There was a narrower band of heavier snowfall that lined up with the Kirkwood area and Highway 88,” said Mark Deutschendorf, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Reno.

Sunday morning broke out in the mountains with temperatures in the 30s, and with the fresh snowfall skiers arrived in Kirkwood. As of 10:50 a.m. Sunday morning, all parking lots in the Valley and remote parking lots in Kirkwood were at capacity, the station tweeted. By 12:30 p.m., lots had reopened, but only on a first-come, first-served basis.

The storm had passed but the wind that drove it stayed behind. Northeast winds were measured at 15 to 30 mph at Kirkwood with gusts at the summit expected to reach 7 or 80 mph. The wind impacted lift operations and at one point in the late morning all chairlift operations were suspended, Kirkwood announced on Twitter.

Elsewhere in the Sierra, the storm was not as generous. Palisades Tahoe was 5 inches at the top of the mountain, 8,000 feet, and Alpine Meadows was 4 inches at the lodge. It was the first measurable snowfall since falling 9 inches on March 5.

Kat Walton, public relations coordinator for Palisades Tahoe, reported that there was still room at noon in both the Alpine and Palisades parking lots, and neither mountain was too crowded. On the mountain on Saturday, Walton reported, “It wasn’t crowded, per se, but it was heavy traffic for the end of March. We’re just excited to see snow and excited to see people in it.

Heavenly Mountain Resort reported that its Stagecoach lot was full at 10 a.m. and its California base lot was full at 10:25 a.m. Paid parking was still available at the gondola. Sugar Bowl also got between 4 and 5 inches and Sunday the mountain had 50% more skiers than Saturday, he reported.

Saturday’s snowfall didn’t stay at lake level, and Deutschendorf said it might not stay long on the ski slopes either. A warm-up begins on Monday and is expected to last until next weekend. In a forecast unlikely to generate excitement among late-season ski hopefuls, he expects temperatures to reach the upper mid-60s at the foot of the mountains and the 50s at higher altitudes. .

“There’s going to be some melting,” he said. “Not everything will go away, but there will be some decrease.” The next chance of snowfall will be in late March.

Saturday’s storm, which earlier in the week was expected to bring significant rainfall to the Bay Area, was unsuccessful. The coastal mountains recorded less than half an inch and that was the wetlands. San Francisco reported a hundredth of an inch.

Sunny temperatures on Sunday were in the 60s but were expected to rise from Monday. They may still be in the 60s on the coast “but as soon as we go inland you see mid-week 80-degree temperatures,” said National Weather Service Bay meteorologist Brayden Murdoch. Area.

Murdoch said long-term models point to the possibility of precipitation by the weekend or next week, but at this point that’s just a hint.

“It’s not a strong signal,” he said, “but something to at least give us hope.”

Sam Whiting is a writer for the San Francisco Chronicle. Email: Twitter: @samwithingsf


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