South Lake Tahoe Snowfall Totals & Snowstorm Averages

This page pulls together information on when, how much and how often South Lake Tahoe, California has snow.

There are data and descriptions of how many days it snows and the total amount of snowfall that South Lake Tahoe usually gets. There are also monthly and yearly counts of the days that the vacation city normally has heavy snowstorms. Plus there's information on when South Lake Tahoe can expect the first and last snowfalls of the season.

All the numbers are averages, based on weather data gathered from 1981 to 1994 near South Lake Tahoe and the Sierra-at-Tahoe ski resort.

How Often it Snows in South Lake Tahoe

This first table lists monthly and yearly totals for amount of snow and how many days it snows at least 0.1 inches (0.25 centimetres).

Average total snowfall and days with fresh snow in South Lake Tahoe
Days   Inches Centi­metres
9.9 January 73.0 185.4
10.0 February 75.0 190.5
11.9 March 84.6 214.9
7.0 April 35.8 90.9
4.2 May 9.3 23.6
1.2 June 2.4 6.1
1.1 September 4.0 10.2
2.9 October 12.9 32.8
9.0 November 49.7 126.2
9.9 December 60.7 154.2
67.1 Year 407.4 1034.8

These averages don't show how much the snowfall in South Lake Tahoe varies from year to year.

In December, for instance, one in four years totals over 88.6 inches of snow. Another 25 percent of years receive less than 21.4 inches for the month.

Similarly in January, fresh snowfall in the heaviest years amounts to over 102 inches, while the lightest years get less than 29.5 inches.

New snow for February ranges from over 122 inches (ten feet, 2 inches) in heavy snowfall years to under 31.5 inches in light years.

March often gets huge amounts of snow, with one in four years topping 137 inches (11 feet, 5 inches). In low-snow years, March receives less than 40.4 inches.

When South Lake Tahoe Has Its First & Last Snowfalls

The first snowfall of autumn for South Lake Tahoe arrives as early as September or as late as November.

The season's last snowfall typically happens in June, although about one in four years gets no new snow after May.

The resort city is normally free of snow every year during July and August.

How Many Snowstorms South Lake Tahoe Gets

Most days of snowfall at South Lake Tahoe leave at least three inches of fresh snow.

Snowstorms of over five inches a day occur 29 times a year, on average. Typically 15 of these storms are major blizzards that dump ten inches or more. Snow events this severe can descend on Lake Tahoe anytime from October to May.

Number of days per month and year on average in South Lake Tahoe with a total snowfall of at least 1, 3, 5 or 10 inches
1 inch
2.5 cm
3 inches
7.6 cm
  5 inches
12.7 cm
10 inches
25.4 cm
9.3 6.8 January 5.0 2.7
9.4 6.6 February 5.1 3.2
11.1 8.2 March 6.0 3.3
6.4 3.8 April 2.3 0.7
3.0 1.3 May 0.4 0.1
0.8 0.3 June 0.2 0.0
1.1 0.6 September 0.4 0.0
2.5 1.5 October 1.2 0.3
8.4 5.2 November 3.7 2.0
9.1 5.9 December 4.2 2.5
61.1 40.2 Year 28.5 14.8

National Climatic Data Center. NOAA's 1981-2010 Climate Normals.

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