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California blizzard leaves residents tunneling out with more snow on the way: Live

California blizzard leaves residents tunneling out with more snow on the way: Live

Snow continued to fall across parts of California and Nevada on Tuesday after a blizzard dumped up to 10ft of snow, shutting down major highways for three days and trapping people in their homes.

Isolated, light snow showers would continue across the Sierra Nevada until Thursday morning, the National Weather Service reported, but drier and warmer conditions were expected by the end of the week.

Communities across the region were digging out after snow reached up to roof lines in some towns, and trapped people inside. More than 7,500 customers remained without power in some California counties, according to utility tracker poweroutage.us.

Localized, heavy rainfall is expected on Tuesday for northern California with downpours moving into southern California on Wednesday. Due a recent glut of atmospheric rivers hitting the state, there will be the threat of isolated flash flooding, NWS reported.

Key Points

  • Yosemite National Park to close as officials warn of 7 feet of snow

  • Sierra Nevada area could experience life-threatening conditions

  • Areas with winter storm warnings and advisories

West coast weather forecast: The latest

18:40 , Louise Boyle

One more day of heavy snow in the mountains and at higher elevations is forecast in the West on Tuesday, the National Weather Service reported.

An influx of moisture from the Pacific was targeting northern California and the southern Pacific Northwest into the northern Great Basin and Rockies.

Several more inches of snow are forecast from the southern Cascades and northern Sierra east to the Tetons in Wyoming. A cold front has also brought snow to lower elevations from southern Oregon to western Idaho.

In northern and central California, snowfall will taper off on Wednesday. However, localized, heavy rainfall is expected on Tuesday for northern California with downpours expected in southern California on Wednesday.

Due a recent glut of atmospheric rivers hitting the state, there will be the threat of isolated flash flooding, NWS reported.

California snowfall traps people inside

18:20 , Louise Boyle

The Sugar Bowl Ski resort near Norden, California posted a video showing just how much snow they got this weekend - so much that they couldn’t get out of the front door.

The resort tweeted on Saturday that they had received 20-24 inches of snow. “We got some digging to do,’ they added.

More rain and high winds for southern California

18:02 , Louise Boyle

Rain and mountain snow is expected to return to the Los Angeles area from late on Tuesday into early Thursday, the National Weather Service reported.

Heavy downpours and small hail was possible but otherwise the rain would be light to moderate. Snow was also possible in the mountains and along the “Grapevine”, the 40-mile stretch of highway from Castaic in Los Angeles County down to the San Joaquin Valley in Kern County.

Weather warnings for southern California (NWS)
Weather warnings for southern California (NWS)

Watch: California’s snowpack is well above average after mammoth blizzard

17:41 , Louise Boyle

Downpours incoming

17:20 , Louise Boyle

The National Weather Service in Los Angeles shared the potential rainfall amounts for the incoming storm system. Rain and mountain snow is expected to spread through the area on Wednesday.

The heaviest downpours will be north of Pasadena, east of Ojai and north of Santa Barbara in Santa Ynez and Big Pine Mountain.

Snowed under in Truckee

17:01 , Louise Boyle

One of the places hit by the powerful multiple day winter storm in the Sierra Nevada mountains was Truckee. Kevin Dupui, who lives in the town, just northwest of Lake Tahoe, said his snow blower broke, but it doesn’t really matter because there’s nowhere to put all the snow anyway. “We just move it around,” he said on Sunday.

Dupui said residents and tourists seem to be mostly heeding warnings to stay home. “The roads haven’t been that safe, so we don’t really want people driving around,” he said.

Another Truckee resident, Jenelle Potvin, said at first some cynical locals thought “there was a little too much hype” made about the approaching storm. But then the unrelenting snow began Friday night.

“It was definitely a blizzard. And we woke up to a lot of snow yesterday and it never let up,” Potvin said Sunday. Her neighbors were snowmobiling and cross-country skiing in the streets. (Associated Press)

A person uses a snowblower during a powerful multiple day winter storm in the Sierra Nevada mountains on March 03, 2024 in Truckee, California (Getty Images)
A person uses a snowblower during a powerful multiple day winter storm in the Sierra Nevada mountains on March 03, 2024 in Truckee, California (Getty Images)

Avalanche threat

16:40 , Louise Boyle

The Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center warned that there was “moderate” avalanche danger through Wednesday morning at 7am, local time.

“Wind slabs ranging in size and sensitivity will be possible to find in leeward catchment zones at all elevations and in atypical areas such as sheltered terrain below treeline. Localized assessments will be important to help you identify and avoid features of concern,” the avalanche center report read.

The avalanche threat on 5th March, 2024 in the Sierra Nevada (Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center)
The avalanche threat on 5th March, 2024 in the Sierra Nevada (Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center)

In pictures: Californians dig out from crippling blizzard

16:22 , Louise Boyle

A person walks at Boreal Mountain Resort, currently shuttered due to the snowstorm, following a massive snowstorm in the Sierra Nevada mountains on March 04, 2024 at Soda Springs, California (Getty Images)
A person walks at Boreal Mountain Resort, currently shuttered due to the snowstorm, following a massive snowstorm in the Sierra Nevada mountains on March 04, 2024 at Soda Springs, California (Getty Images)
In an aerial view, homes are covered in snow following a massive snowstorm in the Sierra Nevada mountains on March 04, 2024 near Soda Springs (Getty Images)
In an aerial view, homes are covered in snow following a massive snowstorm in the Sierra Nevada mountains on March 04, 2024 near Soda Springs (Getty Images)
A snow blower operates following a massive snowstorm in the Sierra Nevada mountains on March 04, 2024 in Soda Springs, California (Getty Images)
A snow blower operates following a massive snowstorm in the Sierra Nevada mountains on March 04, 2024 in Soda Springs, California (Getty Images)

Ski resorts reopen in Tahoe

16:01 , Louise Boyle

The Palisades Tahoe ski resort reported on Tuesday that it received an additional two inches of snow on the mountain on Monday, bringing the five-day total to 98 inches.

The largest skiing complex in the Lake Tahoe region was forced to close this past weekend because it received too much snow, along with powerful winds, which caused low visibility. The resort re-opened on Monday.

Palisades Tahoe ski resort on Sunday (AP)
Palisades Tahoe ski resort on Sunday (AP)

West coast weather forecast: The latest

15:41 , Louise Boyle

One more day of heavy snow in the mountains and at higher elevations is forecast in the West on Tuesday, the National Weather Service reported.

An influx of moisture from the Pacific was targeting northern California and the southern Pacific Northwest into the northern Great Basin and Rockies.

Several more inches of snow are forecast from the southern Cascades and northern Sierra east to the Tetons in Wyoming. A cold front has also brought snow to lower elevations from southern Oregon to western Idaho.

In northern and central California, snowfall will taper off on Wednesday. However, localized, heavy rainfall is expected on Tuesday for northern California with downpours expected in southern California on Wednesday.

Due a recent glut of atmospheric rivers hitting the state, there will be the threat of isolated flash flooding, NWS reported.

What is the Donner pass, the treacherous California mountain route notorious for cannibalism incident

15:20 , Louise Boyle

Donner Pass, a stretch of road 7,088 feet above sea level in Nevada County, California, was hit with 80 inches of snow over the weekend as the state battled one of its most historic snowstorms.

What is the Donner pass, the California route notorious for cannibalism incident

2 snowmobilers killed in separate avalanches in Washington and Idaho

15:00 , Louise Boyle

Two snowmobilers have been killed in separate avalanches in Washington state and in Idaho.

Two snowmobilers riding in the Cascade Mountains west of Yakima, Washington, triggered a slide Friday in a bowl near Darland Mountain, according to the Northwest Avalanche Center. The rider who did not survive was described as fully buried. The rider’s name wasn’t released.

“While we don’t know for sure, this avalanche likely failed on older persistent weak layers in the snowpack,” the organization said, adding that many other areas are dealing with the same problem. (Associated Press)

Avalanche threat

12:01 , Louise Boyle

The Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center warned that there was “considerable” avalanche danger through Tuesday morning at 7am, local time.

“Unstable wind slabs ranging in size and sensitivity are today’s primary concern. The weak layers near the base of our snowpack may still be adjusting to the new snow load,” the avalanche center report read.

“Avoiding steep, wind affected slopes and overhead hazard is the best way to minimize your exposure today.”

Eastern Sierras backcountry avalanche report on 4 March, 2024 (Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center)
Eastern Sierras backcountry avalanche report on 4 March, 2024 (Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center)

California snowfall traps people inside

11:31 , Louise Boyle

The Sugar Bowl Ski resort near Norden, California posted a video showing just how much snow they got this weekend - so much that they couldn’t get out of the front door.

The resort tweeted on Saturday that they had received 20-24 inches of snow. “We got some digging to do,’ they added.

And now for the good news...

11:03 , Louise Boyle

California’s water from the snowpack is at 104 per cent of its normal level, after starting the year at 28 per cent, the UC Berkeley Sierra Snow Lab reported on Monday.

“We’re also at 94% of our April 1st normal and should get be able to get to 100%,” the research facility posted on X.

California’s extreme storm: The latest

10:30 , Louise Boyle

A powerful blizzard that closed highways and ski resorts had moved through the Sierra Nevada by early Monday, but forecasters warned that more snow was on the way for the Northern California mountains.

A long stretch of Interstate 80 from west of Lake Tahoe over Donner Summit to the Nevada state line finally reopened to all but big rigs late Monday morning, but chains or snow tires were required, the California Highway Patrol’s Truckee office said. Closures or chain requirements also affected other highways.

More than 7 feet (2.1 meters) of snow fell in some locations and fierce winds lashed the Sierra over the weekend.

The last blizzard warnings expired before dawn Monday, leaving a few light Sierra showers, but winter storm warnings were issued for a new, less powerful system due to arrive later in the day and last into Tuesday night, the National Weather Service said. (Associated Press)

Meanwhile, further south...

10:02 , Louise Boyle

Another round of stormy weather could be on the way for southern California, forecasters said on Monday.

The storm system could potentially move into the region between late Tuesday and Thursday, according to the National Weather Service’s Los Angeles office.

The rain forecast for southern California this week (NWS Los Angeles)
The rain forecast for southern California this week (NWS Los Angeles)

Struggle to clear roads

09:31 , Louise Boyle

Transport crews have been struggling to clear highways after many blowers and plows broke down in the face of extreme snow piles.

“We have been down to 2 of 10 blowers at our central hub in Kingvale and 6 out of 20 from Auburn to the Nevada state line. 80 remains CLOSED with no ETO,” Caltrans District 3, north of Sacramento, reported on Sunday.

Major routes were blocked across northern California by the blizzard (Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)
Major routes were blocked across northern California by the blizzard (Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Lake Tahoe blanketed in six feet of snow as residents dig their way out of homes

09:04 , Louise Boyle

Lake Tahoe blanketed in six feet of snow as residents dig their way out of homes

Satellites capture the mammoth snowfall on the west coast

08:30 , Louise Boyle

Blizzards clobbered the Sierra Nevada Mountains region over the weekend, along with winter storm conditions and strong wind gusts extending across much of the western United States to the edge of the Rocky Mountains, the CIRA research group at Colorado State University posted.

The satellite imagery captured the thick snow bands shifting across the US west.

Watch: Intense Snowstorm Batters Northern California Causing Blizzard Conditions

08:04 , Louise Boyle

California snowfall traps people inside

07:04 , Louise Boyle

The Sugar Bowl Ski resort near Norden, California posted a video showing just how much snow they got this weekend - so much that they couldn’t get out of the front door.

The resort tweeted on Saturday that they had received 20-24 inches of snow. “We got some digging to do,’ they added.

California post office destroyed by fire

06:01 , Louise Boyle

A fire caused by a lightning strike destroyed the post office in a tiny town of 100 people on Friday.

Leggett Post Office in northern California went up in flames after being hit by lightning during the intense blizzard across northern and central parts of the state.

Snow totals for Sunday range from 5 to 12 feet

05:30 , Louise Boyle

National Weather Service meteorologist William Churchill said snow totals by late Sunday would range from 5 to 12 feet, with the highest accumulations at elevations above 5,000 feet. Lower elevations were inundated with heavy rain.

He called the storm an “extreme blizzard for the Sierra Nevada, in particular, as well as other portions of Nevada and even extending into Utah and portions of western Colorado.” But he said he didn’t expect records to be broken.

And now for the good news...

05:03 , Louise Boyle

California’s water from the snowpack is at 104 per cent of its normal level, after starting the year at 28 per cent, the UC Berkeley Sierra Snow Lab reported on Monday.

“We’re also at 94% of our April 1st normal and should get be able to get to 100%,” the research facility posted on X.

Watch: The California blizzard explained

04:30 , Louise Boyle

Watch: Reporter struggles to get through interview with high-speed winds

04:05 , Louise Boyle

California post office destroyed by fire

03:30 , Louise Boyle

A fire caused by a lightning strike destroyed the post office in a tiny town of 100 people on Friday.

Leggett Post Office in northern California went up in flames after being hit by lightning during the intense blizzard across northern and central parts of the state.

California’s blizzard in pictures

03:04 , Louise Boyle

Residents clear out snow in front of their home on Donner Pass Road during a powerful multiple day winter storm in the Sierra Nevada mountains (Getty Images)
Residents clear out snow in front of their home on Donner Pass Road during a powerful multiple day winter storm in the Sierra Nevada mountains (Getty Images)
Homes are covered in snow during a powerful multiple day winter storm in the Sierra Nevada mountains, which is boosting the snowpack, on March 03, 2024 in Truckee, California (Getty Images)
Homes are covered in snow during a powerful multiple day winter storm in the Sierra Nevada mountains, which is boosting the snowpack, on March 03, 2024 in Truckee, California (Getty Images)
Workers clear snow off the roof of a building during a blizzard Sunday, March 3, 2024, in Olympic Valley, California (AP)
Workers clear snow off the roof of a building during a blizzard Sunday, March 3, 2024, in Olympic Valley, California (AP)

Blizzard forces Lake Tahoe ski resorts to close

02:33 , Louise Boyle

The dangerous blizzard conditions in northern California forced many ski resorts to close this past weekend, with some posting cautious re-opening schedules on Monday. Bear Valley, Boreal Mountain and Woodward Tahoe and Donner Ski Ranch were among the resorts which closed due to too much snow, high winds and generally unsafe conditions.

California’s extreme storm: The latest

02:03 , Louise Boyle

A powerful blizzard that closed highways and ski resorts had moved through the Sierra Nevada by early Monday, but forecasters warned that more snow was on the way for the Northern California mountains.

A long stretch of Interstate 80 from west of Lake Tahoe over Donner Summit to the Nevada state line finally reopened to all but big rigs late Monday morning, but chains or snow tires were required, the California Highway Patrol’s Truckee office said. Closures or chain requirements also affected other highways.

More than 7 feet (2.1 meters) of snow fell in some locations and fierce winds lashed the Sierra over the weekend.

The last blizzard warnings expired before dawn Monday, leaving a few light Sierra showers, but winter storm warnings were issued for a new, less powerful system due to arrive later in the day and last into Tuesday night, the National Weather Service said. (Associated Press)

Avalanche danger

01:31 , Louise Boyle

The Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center warned that there was “considerable” avalanche danger through Tuesday morning at 7am, local time.

“Unstable wind slabs ranging in size and sensitivity are today’s primary concern. The weak layers near the base of our snowpack may still be adjusting to the new snow load,” the avalanche center report read.

“Avoiding steep, wind affected slopes and overhead hazard is the best way to minimize your exposure today.”

Eastern Sierras backcountry avalanche report on 4 March, 2024 (Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center)
Eastern Sierras backcountry avalanche report on 4 March, 2024 (Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center)

Yosemite National Park re-opens

00:30 , Louise Boyle

Yosemite National Park reopened on Sunday after asking visitors to leave the area on Thursday evening.

The popular park was widely impacted by the blizzard, receiving 45 inches of snow in in places.

Satellites capture the mammoth snowfall on the west coast

Monday 4 March 2024 20:50 , Louise Boyle

Blizzards clobbered the Sierra Nevada Mountains region over the weekend, along with winter storm conditions and strong wind gusts extending across much of the western United States to the edge of the Rocky Mountains, the CIRA research group at Colorado State University posted.

The satellite imagery captured the thick snow bands shifting across the US west.

Massive mudslide in southern California

Monday 4 March 2024 17:03 , Louise Boyle

A massive mudslide has blocked State Route 150 in the small Southern California town of Santa Paula, transport officials reported on Sunday.

California’s Department of Transportation shared a photo of the slide and said that they were working to open the highway “ASAP” in the town, halfway between Santa Barbara and Malibu.

Southern California has experienced hundreds of landslides this winter after a series of atmospheric rivers slammed the state.

The mudslide in Santa Paula, California pictured on 3 March, 2024 (CalTrans)
The mudslide in Santa Paula, California pictured on 3 March, 2024 (CalTrans)