SAN FRANCISCO (CBS/AP) — A significant Christmas weekend storm induced whiteout situations with 100 mph winds, closing key mountain highways and ski resorts amid blowing snow within the Sierra Sunday with forecasters warning that journey may very well be tough for a number of days.
The blinding driving situations triggered a 20-car pile-up on southbound Freeway 395 in Washoe Valley Sunday morning. The Washoe County Sheriff’s Division mentioned not less than three individuals had been injured and the freeway had been shutdown.
⚠️UPDATE #TMFR crews responded to 2 separate auto pile ups this morning, each instructions on 395 close to Bowers Ext. Approx six sufferers have been transported. Unhurt transported to TMFR Hearth Station for shelter. Engaged on plan to get people dwelling. @WashoeSheriff @washoecounty pic.twitter.com/SjkXGW88z3
— Truckee Meadows Hearth & Rescue (@TMFPD) December 26, 2021
A 70-mile stretch of I-80 was shut down Sunday from Colfax by means of the Lake Tahoe area to the Nevada state line. It was not anticipated to reopen till Monday on the earliest.
Caltrans mentioned late Sunday afternoon that Freeway 50 would stay closed in each instructions between Placerville and Meyers because of heavy snow, not less than till Monday. The company will reassess the situations Monday however doesn’t have an estimated time of reopening.
“Freeway 50 is presently closed,” the CHP posted. “We can’t make it extra clear … Please don’t try and drive to the snow.”
“Count on main journey delays on all roads,” the Nationwide Climate Service workplace in Reno, Nevada, mentioned on Twitter. “At the moment is the kind of day to only keep dwelling if you happen to can. Extra snow is on the best way too!”
🙎♂️Why is I-80 CLOSED from Colfax (@PlacerCA) to the Nevada State-line?
👷There may be presently low or zero visibility on I-80 within the Sierra. Crews working across the clock to maintain I-80 maintained however situations are unsafe, particularly w/ an upcoming storm anticipated this afternoon.🥶 pic.twitter.com/U9Kafq9Qck
— Caltrans District 3 (@CaltransDist3) December 26, 2021
Officers at Palisades Tahoe had been pressured to shutdown their lifts on Sunday.
“The snow that fell since Friday night time got here in with excessive winds and chilly temperatures, leading to low-density, mild snow,” resort officers mentioned in a information launch. “The winds are anticipated to stay excessive, with gusts of over 100 mph for the rest of the day. Robust winds blow across the mild snow that has amassed, leading to just about no visibility on the mountain.”
Over the past 24 hours, the resort has obtained greater than 2 toes of latest snow.
In the meantime, Northstar close to Truckee obtained 34 inches of recent snow on the summit and 27 inches at mid mountain in a single day into Sunday morning.
“With the pursuits our each our workers and friends in thoughts, we won’t be opening as we speak because of blizzard situations on the mountain,” Northstar officers posted on their web site Sunday. “We admire everybody’s persistence this morning, however mom nature had different plans.”
At Donner Move within the Sierra officers with the College of California, Berkeley’s Central Sierra Snow Laboratory puzzled on Twitter if the current snowfall might break the snowiest December file of 179 inches set in 1970.
There’s been not less than 119 inches recorded to this point this month with extra anticipated over the following 72 hours.
The snowpack within the Sierra was at dangerously low ranges after current weeks of dry climate however the state Division of Water Assets reported on Christmas Eve that the snowpack was between 114% and 137% of regular throughout the vary with extra snow anticipated.
A winter storm warning stretching all the best way to Tuesday has been issued by the Nationwide Climate Service for the Lake Tahoe space.
“The Sierra Nevada which has already picked up domestically a number of toes of snow over the previous few days is anticipated to see a further 2 to five toes of snow going by means of Tuesday,” the climate service mentioned.
Sunday Snow Forecast (NWS)
One other dose of blinding snow storms and excessive winds had been making a state of affairs ripe for avalanches.
“Excessive avalanche hazard is anticipated by means of Monday morning within the mountains,” NWS forecasters mentioned. “Heavy snowfall and intensely robust winds have created unstable avalanche situations within the mountains. Giant pure avalanches and human-triggered avalanches are anticipated.”
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