Understand Lake Tahoe Weather Trends & Know How to Pack

One of the best things about the weather in Lake Tahoe is that they make this place one of the best in the world for year-round outdoor fun. And we speak from experience. After all, Camp Richardson has been a year-round South Lake Tahoe resort for almost a century.


Folks have been coming to the Lake Tahoe snow at Camp Richardson for almost a century. (Photo courtesy of Camp Richardson archives)

We know our stuff when it comes to Tahoe weather and how to have the most fun in it—from cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in winter to mountain biking and wakeboarding in the summer. That said, we put together this super science-y post to give you, our readers, the lowdown on the High Sierra weather trends. That way, you’ll know exactly how to pack when you head up for a visit. So, ready, set, LEARN!

Lake Tahoe Weather Trends Chart

Clearly, every useful weather trends article must include number-filled weather trends chart. So we created one! Feel free to print and tape to your fridge (it is quite attractive if we say so ourselves).

lake tahoe weather trends chart

Lake Tahoe weather trends over time. (Data courtesy of Western Regional Climate Center)

As you can see from the chart, it can get pretty cold up here, but the spring and summer months tend to be nothing short of paradise.

More Lake Tahoe Weather Trends Info and Fun Facts


Kayaking at Camp Richardson is popular in the spring, summer, and fall. (Photo courtesy of Camp Richardson archives)

Though the chart is amazing (we made it ourselves), it doesn’t cover all the interesting metrics that have been collected over time. Plus, no regional weather lowdown would be complete without a list of Did You Knows. So, here it goes!

Did you know…

  • Tahoe sees an average of 250 – 300 days of sunshine per year. (Yep, it’s a sunny place!)
  • The average annual humidity up here is between zero and almost zero. Prepare for guaranteed year-round good hair days, but be sure to bring mucho moisturizer.
  • Lake Tahoe’s annual average water temp is 52°F.
  • The average summer water temp is 65°F, and the average winter temp is a mighty chilly 32°F (Polar Bear Plunge, anyone?).
  • On January 5, 1982, Tahoe (at Echo Summit) experienced 67 inches (nearly 6 feet) of snow in 24 hours, making Tahoe the official California 24-hour snowfall record holder.
  • Just like the Great Lakes, Tahoe can generate “lake effect” snow. The Truckee Meadows area is typically the lucky recipient of this phenomenon’s powder production.
  • The average snowfall at lake level is 125 inches (or about 10.5 feet). Our ski resorts get a whopping average of 300 – 500 inches (or about 25 – 42 feet) of snow per year (now that’s legit!).
  • Though Incline Village and the city of South Lake Tahoe sit only 30 miles apart, the temperature difference between the two can vary by 15°F.If we could capture the daily water evaporation from Lake Tahoe’s surface, it would provide enough water to meet 3.3-million Americans’ daily needs.

Your Lake Tahoe Weather Trends Takeaway


Snowshoeing is a favorite activity among Camp Rich regulars in winter. (Photo courtesy of Camp Richardson archives)

If you take anything away from this Lake Tahoe weather trends lowdown, it should be this: pack layers and be prepared for unpredictability. While snow boots and down parkas are unnecessary overkill in the summer months, beanies and warm pants are a good call. And know this: It’s almost always a bit on the chilly side at night, regardless of the season.

See you soon!