Snow storm blankets Northern California with hurricane-force winds and blizzard conditions

Heavy snow fell in the Sierra Nevada as winter storm winds sent ski lift chairs dangling and closed mountain highways, while rain at lower elevations in Nevada triggered a flood watch for large areas of California on Sunday. Gave.

More than 250 miles (400 km) of the Sierra from Reno south north to Yosemite National Park remained under winter storm warnings late Sunday or early Monday.

Forecasters at the National Weather Service’s Reno office said, “The Sierra snow forecast is straight ahead with conditions expected to continue throughout the day and duration of local heavy snow bands due to limited visibility and enhanced snow cover.” CBS San Francisco, “While the snow will begin to subside by this afternoon, snow will continue across much of the Sierra through Monday morning.”

Snow moisture levels were high for most of Saturday. Known as “Sierra Cement”, the thick, heavy snow triggered avalanche warnings.

According to CBS San Francisco, as of Sunday morning, 48 inches had fallen in Sierra-at-Tahoe, 46 inches in Tahoe Donner, more than 40 inches in Palisades Tahoe, 33 inches in Kirkwood and 32 inches in Heavenly. ,

sierra storm
This image from a Caltrans traffic camera shows snow conditions on the California SR-89 Snowman in Shasta-Trinity National Forest, California, Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022. A portion of California Highway 89 was closed due to heavy snow between Tahoe City and. South Lake Tahoe, Cali., the Highway Patrol said.

Caltrans via AP

The heavenly ski resort at Lake Tahoe shut down some operations on Saturday when the storm hit. The resort posted video of lift chairs being violently swayed by gusts of up to 100 miles per hour (161 km/h), along with a tweet reminder that wind shutdowns are “always for your safety.” for”.

To the south, Mammoth Mountain reported that more than 20 inches (51 cm) of snow fell on Saturday, and 2 feet (.6 m) is possible as the back end of the system passed through the Eastern Sierra.

The UC Berkeley Central Sierra Snow Lab in Soda Springs, California, reported Sunday morning that more than 43 inches (110 cm) had fallen in the span of 48 hours.

A 70-mile (112 km) stretch of eastbound US Interstate 80 from the northern California city of Colfax to the Nevada state line was closed on Saturday “due to zero visibility,” transportation officials said. Chains were required on the rest of I-80 and other routes in the mountains from Reno toward Sacramento.

The Highway Patrol said several other major roads were closed due to the heavy snow, including a section of California Highway 89 between Tahoe City and South Lake Tahoe.

The US Forest Service issued an avalanche warning for backcountry in the mountains west of Lake Tahoe, where it said “several feet of new snow and high winds will create dangerous avalanche conditions.”

Winds of 50 mph (80 kph) sent trees down to homes in Sonoma County, north of San Francisco, on Saturday, the National Weather Service said, gusting to 100 mph (160 kph) on the Sierra ridgetops on Sunday. ) can be reached.

Heavy rain was estimated at up to 2 inches (5 cm) in the Bay Area from San Francisco to the Sierra Crest, and up to 5 inches (13 cm) in Grass Valley northeast of Sacramento.

In San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, a giant redwood fell in Hellman Hollow, forcing organizers to alter the race course at the National Club Cross County Championships, CBS San Francisco reported.

“The tree was a Monterey cypress, approximately 30 feet tall,” a spokesperson for San Francisco Recreation and Parks told CBS San Francisco. “It went down about 10:30, there were no injuries, and we moved the race to the upper Polo Fields track.”

Warnings and watches were also in place throughout Southern California, as heavy rain caused localized flooding in Greater Los Angeles.

“Significant travel delays are possible due to snow accumulation on several mountain roads. This could include Tejon Pass and the Grapevine area of ‚Äč‚ÄčInterstate 5,” the LA-area office of the National Weather Service said in a statement.

Forecasters in Arizona issued a winter storm watch for northern and central Arizona through Sunday evening for areas above 5,000 feet (1,525 meters), including Flagstaff, Prescott and the Grand Canyon, predicting icy temperatures and up to a foot of snow Went.

As the storm moves out of the US West, it will push across the country and reach the plains by the middle of the week, said Mark Chenard, meteorologist with the National Weather Service at the National Center in College Park, bringing significant rain and above-average precipitation. There will be low temperature. Maryland.

“It’s going to be a busy week while the system moves across the country,” Chenard said Sunday.

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