Predicting the weather conditions in Tahoe can be a challenge. Is it going to snow? How much snow will we get? Are the roads closed? While it’s impossible to predict the weather with complete precision, I’ve found the four tools below invaluable for staying informed about Tahoe’s winter weather. Check out these tools and remember to slow your roll in snowy conditions!
The OpenSnow app is the local’s bible when comes to predicting snow in the Tahoe area. In my opinion, OpenSnow is the best source for the most advanced snow forecast, snow report, high-resolution map overlays, and ski conditions information. OpenSnow offers both a free and premium version, so you can get solid snow information without having to pay for anything. I personally have the premium account because it allows you to see the forecast further into the future and read the Daily Snow blog (currently free, but going under the paywall soon). The blog, which is written by a Tahoe local gives invaluable information about upcoming storms and weather patterns.
For the most up-to-date information about road conditions, I use CalTrans QuickMap. The Caltrans QuickMap web page and app presents several types of real-time traffic information layered on a Google Map. The information includes traffic speed, lane and road closures, incident reports, camera snapshots, and active chain control requirements. Clicking on a marker displays a pop-up window with details pertaining to that specific incident or further information about chain control levels. If you absolutely must travel during inclement weather, this is the tool you need.
Written information is helpful, but sometimes you just want to visually SEE the conditions. The Tahoe Weather Cams website has 14 different camera views in Tahoe and Truckee. Each camera has a clear live stream, so you can actively see if it’s snowing and what road and weather conditions look like in different areas.
California Highway Patrol aka CHP often posts real-time updates on road conditions, incidents, and chain controls on their social media accounts. I personally follow the CHP – Truckee account on Facebook and in addition to being informative their posts are usually pretty humorous. The CHP social accounts are great because the information they publish is firsthand so you can be confident that anything they share is accurate. If you’re on social media, CHP is a good follow and you won’t regret looking them up.
I hope you found this list helpful! If you use any tools I didn’t mention, drop them in the comments below. Drive safe out there.