I know, I know, it is summer why are we thinking about winter weather? Part of me is hoping the thought of snow will help cool temperatures down for everyone, but the truth is, fall is right around the corner, which means the winter months are inevitable.

Earlier this year, Lake Tahoe was hit by a massive blizzard. In March alone, the area received 191 inches (485 cm) of snow. Their season total, a whopping 692 inches (1757 cm). Imagine a cargo container placed vertically and add a few more inches. That amount of snow takes months to melt, and there were still snow piles there in late June.

The Lake Tahoe region, on average, gets about 400 inches (1016 cm) of snow a year. Residents are not unfamiliar preparing for blizzard conditions. Other parts of the US average a lot less snow each year, but they still need to prepare for the potential of a blizzard or snowfall event. The reality is, even a small amount of snowfall can cause hazardous conditions that may limit ability to travel, cause power outages, or damage to homes. Snow squalls are short intense snowstorms with gusty winds. This short-term event, unlike a blizzard, can dump significant snow and create whiteout conditions.  Because snow squalls are usually associated with a front moving through, the combination of air temperature and snow is also known to create icy conditions.

Weather activity that includes any chance of ice can be just as dangerous as a blizzard. You will often hear people who live in snow regions describe snow as light and fluffy, or heavy. You may also hear things like, the storm is starting as snow and ending as sleet then rain, or vice versa. Anytime you hear rain and sleet, you know ice will most likely be a factor in everything from snow removal to your ability to travel.

Although we still have a little bit of time before snowy weather, we wanted to make sure you have a guide handy to get you prepped for what is to come. And if you live in areas that don’t see snowfall ever, well, you can enjoy this guide as a reminder for why you live where you do or save it for the times you may travel to hit the slopes or visit family in friends in the winter season!

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