Weather on the Horizon

Last year was La Niña and this year is El Niño. What does that mean?

While typically our region sees large variability in snow and rain amounts from year to year, there have been periods of consecutive wet winters, notably in the ’80s and ’90s. So, will that be the case this coming winter after last winter’s historic snows and atmospheric rivers?



We’re likely headed into a strong El Niño in the Pacific. Now, while typically El Niño and La Niña mean little for our winter precipitation in the Tahoe region, the strongest El Niños have tilted toward the wet (and snowy) end of the spectrum. In fact, the latest official NOAA outlook that just dropped [on Oct. 19] is also leaning in that direction for California and Nevada. That being said, the individual predictive simulations we use still show a wide variety of outcomes ranging from big wet signals to dramatic dryness for California and Nevada.

Going into this winter, while it’s not a lockbox guarantee, it’s best to be prepared for extended stormy periods. This could range from heavy rain and flooding to snow and blizzards. Make sure your car is ready with good snow tires, chains, and an emergency kit with a phone charger and extra snacks. Because when you’re stranded in a blizzard the last thing you want to be is hungry. Also now is the time to check around your house or business for damage from last winter that could be exacerbated by storms this coming winter. Make sure that snowblower or those shovels are ready to roll.

~ Chris Smallcomb, meteorologist, NOAA/National Weather Service – Reno

FUTURE HOUSING HERE: The former California Highway Patrol building in Truckee is set to become the town’s latest workforce housing project. Photos by Jared Alden/Moonshine Ink

New Digs

They started demolition at the old California Highway Patrol headquarters in Truckee. Do we know what’s going on there?

Executive Order N-06-19, signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom on January 15, 2019, directs the Department of General Services and the Department of Housing and Community Development to identify excess state-owned land and pursue the development of affordable housing to address the shortage of housing in California. The state has selected the former [California Highway Patrol] site in Truckee, 1.72 acres of state-owned land, and awarded a contract to develop housing on the site to Boise-based The Pacific Companies.

The Pacific Companies has created several successful affordable housing developments in Truckee including Frishman Hollow I, Henness Flats, and Frishman Hollow II. Collectively, these developments will have resulted in 192 affordable housing units to serve Truckee community members.

~ The Pacific Companies press release, March 21, 2021

The proposed housing development [known as Pacific Crest Commons] would comprise two three-story buildings, 55 units of multi-family housing, including a mix of studio, one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments.

Because the development is on state land, the state rather than the local jurisdiction is responsible for project entitlement and the town has had no formal role in project approval. However, the state and The Pacific Companies have included town and Nevada County staff throughout the design process. Over the past three years, town staff, as well as representatives from Nevada County, Regional Housing Authority, California Department of General Services (DGS), and [the Department of Housing and Community Development] have met periodically with The Pacific Companies team to coordinate aspects of the project.

~ Town of Truckee staff report, June 23, 2023

We are going to provide Pacific Crest Commons with a review of its project as it relates to town code requirements [shortly after Thanksgiving] but do not know what the expected timing is for the project’s construction.

I don’t believe it will be part of a town council meeting as it is not a requirement for their project.

~ Bron Roberts, Town of Truckee communications program manager


  • Alex Hoeft

    Alex Hoeft joined Moonshine staff in May 2019, happy to return to the world of journalism after a few years in community outreach. She has both her bachelor's and Master's in journalism, from Brigham Young University and University of Nevada, Reno, respectively. When she's not journalism-ing, she's wrangling her toddler or reading a book — or doing both at the same time.

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