Biggest snowstorm of the season to hit California mountains

Several ski resorts closed their doors across California on Friday, as the state prepared for a massive snowstorm forecast to hit the Sierra Nevada region over the weekend.


Massive Snowstorm Forecasted for Sierra Nevada

California is bracing for the biggest snowstorm of the season, with up to 10 feet of snow expected to hit the Sierra Nevada region. Ski resorts across the state have closed their doors in preparation for the extreme weather. The storm arrived in the region on Thursday and is expected to strengthen after midnight on Friday.

The highest elevations in the mountain region are expected to experience the most extreme weather, including heavy snow and fierce winds. So far, about two feet of snow has already fallen in the area. The Weather Prediction Center has warned of substantial and long-lasting disruptions to daily life, as well as extremely dangerous travel conditions in the Sierra Nevada region. Avalanches are also a possibility.

Impacts on Road Travel and Recreation

Due to the expected severe conditions, large portions of the I-80 highway in the Sierra Nevada have been shut down by officials. Yosemite National Park has closed for the weekend, and over a dozen ski resorts surrounding Lake Tahoe have halted operations. While there have been no serious injuries reported, officials have responded to incidents such as car collisions and vehicles sliding or getting stuck along the I-80.

In addition to California, other states like Utah and Arizona are also preparing for strong and dangerous wind gusts. The storm comes after a slow start to the snow season in the region, which normally provides a significant portion of California's water supply. The conditions are expected to improve on Monday, although more snowfall is projected for the middle of next week.

Importance of Snowpack in California

The snowpack in the mountains typically plays a crucial role in California's water supply. As the snow melts during spring and summer, it provides water for agriculture, households, and ecosystems. Therefore, a strong snow season is essential for the state's water resources. This massive snowstorm is anticipated to alleviate some concerns over the below-average precipitation earlier in the season and contribute to the water supply in the coming months.

Overall, while the snowstorm brings significant challenges and disruptions, it is also a welcomed event for California's water security. The state will continue to monitor the impacts and take necessary measures to ensure public safety throughout the duration of the storm.