Winter storm in the west triggers avalanche alerts, causes power outages in California

Winter storm in the west triggers avalanche alerts causes power outages in California
Winter storm in the west triggers avalanche alerts causes power outages in California
Khushbu Kumari

A winter storm is already bringing heavy snow and winds of up to 50 mph to areas of California

A winter storm with high winds and potentially several feet of snow battered the Sierra Nevada on Saturday, causing thousands of power outages in California, causing a mountain road closure in Lake Tahoe and warning of avalanches in the mountains.

The storm is expected to bring 1 to 2 feet of snow and up to 4 feet in the upper elevations around Lake Tahoe Monday morning, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).

The powerful winter storm will batter the California coast to the southwest this weekend with heavy to excessive rainfall along coastal areas and heavy snowfall widespread from the Sierras to much of the west.

A 250-mile stretch of the Sierra from north of Reno to south of Yosemite National Park was under a winter storm warning through at least Sunday.

Excess rain will affect the central California coast on Saturday and southern California around the Los Angeles and San Diego metropolitan areas on Sunday.

The US Forest Service issued an avalanche warning for the inland mountains west of Lake Tahoe, saying that “several feet of new snow and high winds will create dangerous avalanche conditions.”

A stretch of California Highway 89 was closed due to heavy snowfall between Tahoe City and South Lake Tahoe, California.

Interstate 80 between Reno and Sacramento remained open, but tire chains are required for most vehicles.

More than 30,000 customers were without power in the Sacramento area at one point Saturday morning. Service was restored to all but about 3,300 at noon. But forecasters warned that wind gusts of up to 50 mph could bring down tree limbs and power lines later that day.

About 10 inches of snow had already fallen at Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort, south of Yosemite, where more than 10 feet of snow was recorded in early November.

The system will become a “large-scale and significant storm early next week” in the central and southern United States with heavy snow, rain and severe weather, according to the weather service.

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