News and Public Media for North Central Florida
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

California blizzard slowly weakens, but a second storm is forecast for this week

Snow falls downtown, north of Lake Tahoe, during a powerful multiple day winter storm in the Sierra Nevada mountains on Saturday in Truckee, California.
Mario Tama
/
Getty Images
Snow falls downtown, north of Lake Tahoe, during a powerful multiple day winter storm in the Sierra Nevada mountains on Saturday in Truckee, California.

Updated March 3, 2024 at 1:07 PM ET

The Sierra Nevada region is forecast for some temporary relief on Sunday before another round of heavy snow this week.

The storm system, which pummeled the region starting Thursday, brought nonstop snow totaling several feet and wind gusts of up to 150 mph at the highest peaks of the Sierra.

The National Weather Service said blizzard conditions are expected to improve beginning Sunday morning, though heavy snow will continue to fall on some parts of the Sierra and central Rockies throughout the day.

Meanwhile, a second storm system will pass through the region from Monday through Wednesday. The NWS said the northern Sierra region could see an additional 1 to 2 feet of snow. Southern Oregon and northern California are also forecast for some rain showers on Monday.

A blizzard warning remains in effect across the Sierra Nevada. Those areas include:

  • Mono County through Sunday 7 p.m.
  • The West Slope Northern Sierra Nevada, including the city of Blue Canyon, through midnight Monday. A winter storm warning will be in effect in the area from Monday to Wednesday 4 a.m.

A customer pushes their grocery cart through the snow to their car as a blizzard hits Mammoth Lakes, California, on Saturday.
David Swanson / AFP via Getty Images
/
AFP via Getty Images
A customer pushes their grocery cart through the snow to their car as a blizzard hits Mammoth Lakes, California, on Saturday.

Forecasters warn of strong wind gusts that could bring down tree limbs and cause power outages. It may also create little to near-zero visibility on the roads.

The current storm has wreaked havoc for communities in and around the Sierra Nevada.

As of Sunday morning, some 13,000 electric customers in California and Nevada were without power, according to Poweroutage.us. The number of customers experiencing outages in those two states was more than quadruple on Saturday.

A section of Interstate 80 remains closed between the California-Nevada state line and the city of Colfax.

On Sunday, the California Highway Patrol saidthere is "still no estimated time of reopening the freeway."

According to the CHP, "a mass amount of vehicles" were stuck over Donner Summit on Friday night. Due to the storm, the CHP saidit took emergency personnel and tow trucks "several hours" to reach motorists.

A group waits at a bus stop for an 'out of service' bus pull up as a blizzard hits Mammoth Lakes in the Eastern Sierra Nevadas of California, on Saturday.
David Swanson / AFP via Getty Images
/
AFP via Getty Images
A group waits at a bus stop for an 'out of service' bus pull up as a blizzard hits Mammoth Lakes in the Eastern Sierra Nevadas of California, on Saturday.

Yosemite National Park, which is under the blizzard warning, will remain closed at least through Sunday afternoon.

Between Thursday and early Saturday, about 42 inches of snow accumulated in Soda Springs, Calif., west of Reno. Further south, Sierra at Tahoe received 35 inches while Palisades saw 31 inches, according to the NWS office in Sacramento.

The U.C. Berkeley Central Sierra Snow Lab said Sunday that it received more than 23 inches of snow in the past day.

In Incline Village, Nev., snowplows were regularly running up and down streets.

Chris Slowinski and his wife Cathy Ludwig told KUNR that they're experiencing their second winter in Tahoe, and have stocked up on food and equipment.

"We've got a generator, so we're set," Slowinski said. "I mean, it's kind of nice having nowhere to go, and we really can't go anywhere."

Copyright 2024 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Corrected: March 2, 2024 at 12:00 AM EST
An earlier version of this story said KUNR reporter Sophia Holm reported that snowplows were regularly running up and down streets in Reno, Nev. In fact, the plows were in Incline Village.
Tags
Don Clyde
Juliana Kim
Juliana Kim is a weekend reporter for Digital News, where she adds context to the news of the day and brings her enterprise skills to NPR's signature journalism.