Lake Tahoe records its ninth record high temperature since mid-June as the Sierra bakes

The sun shimmers off of Lake Tahoe
The Lake Tahoe shoreline in 2019.
(Max Whittaker / For The Times)

Another heat record has fallen at a resort town on Lake Tahoe, marking the 13th time since mid-June that the community has tied or set a new high.

The temperature reached 90 degrees Thursday in South Lake Tahoe, Calif., which sits at an elevation of 6,237 feet on the Nevada line.

That topped the previous record of 89 degrees set in 1990, the National Weather Service in Reno said Friday.

Scientists say climate change has made the Western United States warmer and drier in the last 30 years, and it will keep making the weather more extreme as the Earth continues to warm.


U.S. weather officials announced Friday that July was the hottest month on Earth in 142 years of record-keeping.

As extreme heat waves struck parts of the United States and Europe, the globe averaged 62.07 degrees Fahrenheit last month, beating the previous record set in July 2016 and tied in 2019 and 2020, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said. The margin was just 0.02 degree.

Swaths of California saw record-breaking temperatures this weekend amid an intense heat wave that has increased fire risks and strained the energy grid.

July 12, 2021

The last seven Julys, from 2015 to 2021, have been the hottest seven Julys on record, said NOAA climatologist Ahira Sánchez-Lugo. Last month was 1.67 degrees warmer than the 20th century average for the month.

At South Lake Tahoe, the monthly average temperature of 60.8 degrees as 5.5 degrees hotter than normal for July.

South Lake Tahoe tied or set new records on five of six days from July 7 to July 12.

The nine new, outright records set there since mid-June began June 17, when the high of 91 degrees smashed the previous mark of 85 degrees set in 1985.