Parts of California Have White Christmas After Snowfall | News, Sports, Jobs

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Motorists ply the roads of downtown Grass Valley, Calif., During an early morning snowfall on December 14. in the coming week and could create dangers for vacationers. (Elias Funez / The Union via AP, File)

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Parts of California are finally having a White Christmas, with snowfall pounding mountains across the state.

However, other parts of California experienced a damp and rainy Christmas as storms continue to flood the state, causing flash flooding and evacuations in some areas during the holiday season.

A 112.65-kilometer stretch of highway above the Sierra Nevada was closed today when the storm that dropped nearly two feet of snow on some ski resorts around Lake Tahoe took a second breath overnight.

Interstate 80 connecting Reno, Nevada to Sacramento, California over the Sierra has been closed in both directions due to poor visibility from the Nevada-California border to Colfax, California.

“The worst part of the storm is here, so expect long delays” the California Highway Patrol in Truckee tweeted this afternoon.

At Donner Pass in the Sierra, which sits along the closed freeway, officials at the University of California, Berkeley’s Central Sierra Snow Laboratory questioned on Twitter whether the recent snowfall could break the record for 179-inch (4.6-meter) snowiest December established in 1970.

There have been at least 119 inches (3 meters) recorded so far this month, according to The Mercury News, and more is expected over the next 72 hours.

The snowpack in the Sierra was at dangerously low levels after the last few weeks of dry weather, but the state’s water resources department reported on Christmas Eve that the snowpack was between 114 percent and 137 percent. percent of normal throughout the chain with more snow expected.

In the San Bernardino National Forest, crews are working on a $ 4.2 million emergency project to repair a section of State Route 18 that rolled down a hill Thursday night after heavy rains, according to the San Bernardino Sun .

The road is a major route to Big Bear Lake and the closure near Panorama Point could be “several days if not weeks” the newspaper reports.

The Los Angeles area is expected to see rain and snow in the mountains next week, according to the National Weather Service, with temperatures well below normal until the middle of the week.

The San Diego area is expected to see patchy showers, with heavy snowfall in the San Bernardino Mountains and Riverside County, with precipitation of up to Thursday.

Meanwhile, the San Francisco Bay Area is expected to have rain showers until Monday before cold and dry conditions hit the middle of next week, the weather service said.

Storms across the west, which could drop rain and snow over much of the region next week and plunge the Pacific Northwest into a long cold snap, follow a now-extinct atmospheric river which delivered abundant amounts of precipitation earlier this week.

Rain and snow records have been broken in Nevada, and Oregon state officials have declared an emergency ahead of freezing temperatures, snow and ice.

Recent forecasts show that at least an inch of snow is likely to fall on Sunday in the Seattle and Portland areas, which generally don’t see snow.

But forecasters and state officials say the main concern is cold temperatures in the region, with daytime peaks next week that will struggle to exceed the freezing point, which is likely to have an impact. on homeless people and those who do not have adequate access to heating.

In Arizona, a winter weather advisory remained in effect today throughout the weekend in the high elevations of the mountains north of the Grand Canyon near the Colorado line. But the wet weather that dumped record rains in Phoenix and Flagstaff on Friday was receding from the area.

The 1.67 inches (4.2 centimeters) of rain that fell at Flagstaff Airport on Friday shattered the old record of 0.87 inches (2.2 centimeters) set in 2019. The inch (2.5 centimeters) which was recorded in Phoenix on Friday broke the old record of 0.93 inches (2.4 centimeters) in 1944.

It was also the wettest day for the city since February 22, 2020, when just over an inch fell.

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