The Sierra Nevada is buried with up to 11 feet of snow, and more is coming

As 6 to 11 feet of snow fell in California's Sierra Nevada since Thursday, it created white-out conditions and hurricane-force winds, closing roads and ski resorts. Snow eased across the region early Monday, but forecasters said more could fall by Tuesday afternoon, and winter storm warnings remain in effect.

By early Monday, several locations in the Sierras had reported at least 8 feet of snow, including 126 inches in Sugar Bowl, 116 inches in Soda Springs and 96 inches at Palisades Tahoe. More than 130 inches could fall on isolated ridgetops west of Lake Tahoe, according to an analysis by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The storm raised seasonal snow totals from normal to above normal and water levels in the state's snowpack rose. Above normal levels Monday. at Donner Pass, University of California at Berkeley's Central Sierra Snow Lab, It is reported that over 6 feet Snowfall, deadlock in season-to-end totals Above average from one of the 10-lowest records. Snowfall at the Sugar Bowl, Boreal Mountain and Palisades Tahoe ski areas — now exceeding 300 inches — is also above average for the season.

Snowfall rates of 2 to 4 inches per hour and hurricane-force winds created hazardous travel conditions over the weekend, leading to road closures. The closure of a 71-mile stretch of Interstate 80 was extended into its third day Monday. The highway was reopened late in the morning. US Route 50 was closed for a short time Sunday morning south of Lake Tahoe.

Yosemite National Park, which was closed Thursday night ahead of the storm, Partially opened on Sunday.

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After a lull in snow early Monday morning, another system, mainly north of I-80, is set to bring more snow Monday afternoon into Tuesday night. Dry air moving into Northern California was expected to limit snowfall compared to the weekend, but some areas could still see up to a foot.

The blizzard warning expired early Monday morning, however Winter Storm Warnings Route 50 to the northbound hills remained in effect early Wednesday.

“Travel may be very difficult or impossible. Hazardous conditions may affect morning or evening travel,” said the National Weather Service in Sacramento, which gave a 40 to 80 percent chance of at least 6 inches of snow north of I-80.

The weather service in Sacramento lists the following key forecast points:

  • An additional 6-12 inches of snow is possible above 4,000 feet from I-80 Tuesday afternoon into Tuesday.
  • It can rise up to 2 feet locally on the highest peaks.
  • Moderate mountain travel impacts are expected through Tuesday night.

Wind is not expected to blow with this next system 190 mphFriday night was recorded at the summit of Palisades Tahoe Ski Resort, but 40-mph winds are possible Monday through Tuesday.

Forecasters said to expect drier and warmer conditions for the middle and late part of the week.

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