Thursday, 18 October, 2018

Major winter storm heading toward California

Big Storm Coming To California — And Could Dump 7 Feet Of Snow In High Sierra Warning for low-Sierra drivers as biggest storm since 2011 to hit hard
Kenny Thornton | 02 March, 2018, 16:42

A blizzard warning is in effect along much of the eastern flank of the Sierra.

"Travel will be very risky to impossible along Interstate 80 over the Sierra and Highway 395 in Mono County during this time", the weather service wrote in its forecast.

Ski resorts, meanwhile, are benefiting from the storm. Forecasters say this could be the snowiest storm for the foothills since 2011.

"We're going to see a lot of snow at lower levels with this storm", Mueller says.

She says they hope to have a "beautiful bluebird powder day" on Sunday, when the forecast calls for clear conditions.

The Sacramento area could get a couple of inches of rain by Saturday. Twenty-one people were killed and two remain missing. Other areas impacted by the order are Goleta, Santa Barbara, Montecito, Summerland and Carpinteria.

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A major winter storm is moving across Northern California, bringing heavy snow and strong winds to the Sierra Nevada and steady rain through the region that is disrupting the morning commute. Dozens of collisions were reported on San Francisco Bay Area highways. The U.S. Forest Service has issued an avalanche watch for the Sierra backcountry around Lake Tahoe.

Interstate 80 was already slowed considerably west of Reno, Nevada, Thursday morning as the snow began falling in northern California's higher elevations.

A PG&E official said the agency is tracking weather patterns and readying workers to restore service quickly and safely in case of an outage.

Travelers were asked to avoid trips to the mountains until the winter storm passed, with up to 7 feet of snow possible in the higher elevations.

As many as 30,000 people were ordered to leave an area of Santa Barbara County before the storm arrived early Friday.

"We want everyone to be out of the area, and out of harm's way, by nightfall", Brown said, adding that evacuations in areas stripped bare by wildfires will be part of "the new normal" following the devastation in Montecito.

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