DOES TAHOE EVER FREEZE?


For those of you who just want the answer without reading further: No. The last time Lake Tahoe was completely frozen over was in it's infancy.

Although air temperatures at Lake Tahoe may remain far below zero for days at a time, the main body of water does not freeze. Shallow, or detached sections of Tahoe, have been known to freeze during extreme winters and ice occasionally forms around the shoreline, but it is broken up and scattered by heavy winter winds.

There are several reasons which combine to prevent the lake from freezing over. First is the great depth and quantity of water with its constant movement from depth to surface and surface to depth; secondly, the high specific heat of the billions of gallons in Tahoe which makes it impossible to bring the mass down to the freezing point, and, lastly, the agitation of the water by strong winds that sweep its surface during the winter months.

Although Lake Tahoe doesn't freeze, some of the surrounding lakes freeze over every year. Cascade Lake, for instance freezes almost every year. Cascade lake lies south of Emerald Bay which has also been known to freeze during harsh winters.

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