Reno and Lake Tahoe’s location, geography and elevation produce a unique climate. The mixture of Tahoe’s high mountain weather systems with Reno’s mid-range desert temperatures makes for a perfect hybrid climate with four distinct seasons throughout the year, offering something for every kind of traveler.
When planning a trip to Reno or Lake Tahoe, it’s important to know how to pack for the weather you might encounter. Keep reading to learn more about Reno and Lake Tahoe’s climates, and what kind of weather to expect so you can pack like a pro.
Understanding weather in Reno means also understanding the city’s unique position near Lake Tahoe. Reno sits in a high desert against the Sierra Nevada mountains at 4,500 feet in elevation. With more than 300 days of sunshine every year, the city is a little slice of heaven with an abundance of outdoor activities, restaurants and museums for thrill (or chill) seekers out there. Those who live in Reno, Nevada enjoy all four seasons, with plenty of sunshine and the occasional summer rain shower or spring snowstorm.
During the summer months, the average high temperatures can reach the 90s, but they rarely reach triple digits. There is often a small chance of rain and thunderstorms in the summertime, lending a refreshing break from the heat. In the fall, average temperatures are mild, normally in the 70s as winter approaches. There are plenty of fall activities in Reno Tahoe, including fishing, hiking, biking and enjoying fall treats at local businesses throughout town.
When winter does come to Reno, temperatures can drop to below freezing, with snowfall marking the start of the city’s winter activities.
Springing forward, Reno’s transition from winter to summer graces the city with beautiful blooming flowers and temperatures that are a warm welcome after fall and winter. Spring is a great time to visit Reno Tahoe because of the longer days and fewer crowds, but pack layers since the area is also known for late-season snowstorms.
Even though it is less than an hour away it’s 2,000 feet higher, which means Lake Tahoe’s weather is often cooler, even during the summer.
At summer’s peak, Lake Tahoe’s climate is as beautiful as its waters. Bluebird skies grace most days with temperatures reaching the mid-80s, but if you feel yourself getting overheated, the lake’s chilly waters ought to do the trick.
During the fall months, the days remain sunny and the average daily temperatures drop into the 60s and low 70s, making for ideal weather to keep exploring Tahoe’s beauty during the less crowded off-season.
Winter months mean the chance of heavy snow is high, so it’s always best to be prepared for a winter storm by dressing in layers. But don’t let the snow keep you indoors – when the skies clear after a snowstorm, Tahoe is a winter wonderland waiting to be explored. All of that snow means that Lake Tahoe’s ski resorts and snow parks are a must-visit for those looking for some wintry adventures.
When spring arrives in Lake Tahoe, snow accumulation begins to melt, thanks to warm sunny days and fewer snowstorms.
Dressing in layers is the key to comfort all year in Reno. Cool, breathable clothing is ideal for rising daytime temperatures and abundant sunshine in the summer. Due to the elevation, evenings do cool off, so plan accordingly if you anticipate being out and about after the sun sets.
During the winter, daytime temperatures average in the 40s with overnight lows below freezing. Sunny days are still plentiful but snow is often in the forecast, especially around Lake Tahoe. Because of the high elevation and number of sunny days, sunscreen is advisable even when the temperatures drop.
If you’re looking to emulate local Reno Tahoe style, or you simply forgot a hat or jacket, explore local brands that help show off your Reno Tahoe love.
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