California blizzard: Powerful California blizzard closes roads and ski resorts as heavy snow and wind lash mountains


Blizzard conditions hit Northern California over the weekend with damaging winds and heavy snow dumped on mountain ridges and down into valleys.

While a blizzard warning is still in effect in the Sierra Nevada, about 6.5 million people across the Mountain West are under winter weather warnings.

The most extreme conditions emerge at higher elevations in the mountains, with whiteout conditions and gale-force winds.

Snow closed a 70-mile stretch of Interstate 80 near the Nevada state line for more than a day after highway officials reported stranded drivers Friday night.

“Heavy snowfall rates of 2-6 inches per hour and gusts of up to 100 mph at times will maintain impossible travel conditions in the Sierra Nevada,” the weather forecast center said.

Officials said there was no estimated time for reopening.

The Weather Service A “high to severe” avalanche danger has been issued for the Central Sierra and Greater Lake Tahoe region through Sunday afternoon.

About 5-12 feet of snow is forecast across the crest of the Sierra late Sunday, while damaging winds of “75 mph” are possible across the Intermountain West, according to the Weather Forecast Center.

“These winds will bring down trees and power lines, resulting in widespread power outages,” it said. “Also, cooler temperatures will move west behind the initial front, reducing snow levels in many valleys.”

More than 15,000 Homes and businesses were without power in California Sunday afternoon, down to nearly 40,000, the monitoring website said.

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Plenty of ski fields and chairlifts remained Closed on Sundays, Some resorts are warning of late starts, including Palisades Tahoe, Sierra at Tahoe and Mammoth.

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Ski Resort Sierra-at-Tahoe at Twin Bridges shared the images with CNN. Snow piles up against the door The resort's maintenance shop and a car in the resort's guest parking lot were buried overnight in snow.

“The intensity of snow and high winds across the Sierra Nevada and Intermountain West will gradually decrease through Monday. However, strengthening upper-level energy from the Pacific (which will stabilize unsettled cold air across a large portion of the western U.S.) will continue,” the National Weather Service said in its report. Forecast discussion Sunday afternoon.

A series of rounds of mountain snow will reach as far east as the central Rockies over the next two days, with a diminishing storm on Sunday Following this, the new system will come into effect on Monday, the Meteorological Department said.

Whiteouts and 'impossible' travel conditions

Brooke Hess-Homeier/AP

Residents try to clear snow from around a car in Truckee on Saturday.

The National Weather Service warned that snow and whiteout conditions will make travel “impossible” as heavy snow and howling winds hit parts of the Sierra and northern ranges.

The storm forced Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort to close the main road to US 395 for several hours Saturday, according to the California Department of Transportation.

Snowy and windy conditions left some vehicles stranded on the road Friday, with some motorists requiring rescue, according to the Truckee Highway Patrol, which reported “numerous vehicles stranded on Donner Summit.”

“At one point, blizzard conditions made it difficult for emergency personnel and tow trucks to reach motorists,” the agency said.

Many roads in the area are closed due to the weather, and some are chained, requiring chains to keep vehicles on the road.

The California Highway Patrol released a photo Saturday afternoon of one of its cars stuck in the snow. “Even our officers sometimes get stuck in the snow! The blizzard-like conditions have not yet subsided, however, and our officers are working hard to keep everyone safe. Avoid traveling during these times and be aware of road conditions. He said on Facebook.

Mario Tama/Getty Images

A vehicle drives through a section of Interstate 80 that is closed in Truckee, California on Sunday.

On Sunday morning, the Highway Patrol shared in Truckee Video Foggy conditions and low visibility closed I-80 between Colfax and the Nevada state line as of 6 a.m. Pacific Sunday.

Officials said there was no estimated time for reopening.

Severe winter storm conditions in Northern California caused crews to have problems clearing roads of snow on Sunday, which damaged some equipment.

“We're down to two out of 10 nozzles at our hub in Kingvale and six out of 20 from Auburn to the Nevada state line,” California Department of Transportation officials said. Post on X.

In the South Lake Tahoe area, an avalanche trapped vehicles and temporarily closed Highway 50 Sunday morning. There were no injuries and crews quickly reopened the road, officials said.

Yosemite National Park, which was closed Friday due to the storm, partially reopened to visitors Sunday afternoon, park officials announced. on Facebook.

“Expect foggy conditions throughout the park,” park officials said.

Park officials cautioned that visitors' vehicles may need tire chains and to check road conditions.

According to the National Weather Service in Hanford, California, a blizzard warning is in effect for the park area until 7 p.m. Sunday.

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