On Sunday morning, meteorologists at Soda Springs, California’s UC Berkeley Snow Lab, reported that 110 cm of snow fell in 48 hours.
From the northern California town to the Nevada state border, a 70-mile (112-km) section of eastbound U.S. Interstate 80 was blocked on Saturday “because of zero visibility,” according to transportation authorities. The remaining I-80 and several other mountainous highways from Reno toward Sacramento needed chains.
According to the highway patrol, the snowfall stopped CA-89 between Tahoe City and South Lake Tahoe. California was hit by a ‘bowling ball’ snowfall that dumped up to 48 inches of snow in the Sierra Nevada and threatened to bring blizzards as far east as Minnesota.
Over the Sierra, from north of Reno to south of Yosemite National Park, winter storm advisories extended for 250 miles, and they weren’t due to end until late Sunday or early Monday. The storm’s strong winds blew about ski lift chairs, and flood warnings were issued at lower altitudes due to rain.
The highway patrol said that heavy snowfall had closed a number of important roads, including Highway 89 between Tahoe City and South Lake Tahoe. Over the next several days, a winter storm will sweep over the United States, beginning in the West and continuing across the Northern Plains and into the Northeast.
USFS issues avalanche alerts for mountains west of Lake Tahoe due to the “several feet of new snow and heavy winds” that are expected to hit the area.
The National Weather Service predicts that the 100 mph (160 kph) winds that blew trees into houses in Sonoma County, north of San Francisco, on Saturday might reach those elevations over the Sierra ridgetops on Sunday.
Blizzards are expected to hit the Northern Plains beginning on Monday, while the Sierra Nevada Mountains will continue to get several feet of snow. In addition, the Northeast might get a substantial snowfall later in the week. The jet stream shifted farther south than usual, propelling the weather system eastward across the nation, making it a powerful storm.