Meteorologists warn snow could be thing of the past in Tahoe by century's end


One week it’s fires, the next week it’s snow.

With a large winter storm hitting the Lake Tahoe region this week, meteorologists warn we could see less snow in the future due to climate change.

The Sierra Nevada could get up to six feet of snow by the end of this week, but future climate projections are expected to shift to a warming trend.

"As the temperature increases anywhere from four to nine degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century and as precipitation falls predominantly as rain during these shorter winters, we expect that’s going to change the forest, possibly change the lake and certainly impact the communities and the people that live here year-round," said Dorian Fougeres, acting deputy director of the California Tahoe Conservancy.

He told KCBS Radio snow is a part of the culture of Lake Tahoe and why the region attracts so many visitors each winter season.

Without it, people will most likely only visit to see the clear blue water.

"It could be significant for the amount of people that come and recreate here," he said. "There are about 24 million annual visitors and a $6 billion recreation economy.”

The lack of snow could drive larger and more intense wildfires.

It could also impact the type of species that move in and out of the Tahoe area.

Featured Image Photo Credit: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images