SACRAMENTO (AP) – A winter storm packed with much needed rain and snow to Northern California caused commuter problems and flight cancellations but also brought hope for one of the best holiday weeks for ski resorts in years.
Forecasters said the system could dump as much as 3 feet of snow on the highest peaks through Tuesday night, with accumulation totals expected to be around a foot at Lake Tahoe.
“This major winter storm will continue to affect the region through Tuesday morning with heavy Sierra snow, moderate to heavy rain and strong winds,” the National Weather Service said.
Tuesday morning, NWS Reno said that the water level at Lake Tahoe had risen by 1.92 inches – which is equivalent to 63.9 billion gallons of water added to the lake.
Winter storm warnings were posted in the Sierra Nevada after the National Weather Service predicted heavy mountain snow during the holiday week.
Dozens of fender-benders and weather-related hazards snarled traffic Monday in the San Francisco Bay Area. San Francisco International Airport reported delays and dozens of cancelations because of strong wind. Showers were expected to continue into Tuesday.
Farther north, the California Department of Transportation reported several accidents on Highway 50, saying traffic was being held in portions of El Dorado County due to multiple cars spinning out. It said a high wind advisory is in effect along Interstate 80 in Yolo County. Motorists were required to use chains.
Elsewhere, rain, gusty winds and floods were possible on a stretch of the Pacific coast from Mendocino to the Oregon border.
Some rain was expected along the Central Coast, while gusty winds could hit much of southwestern California.
Surf was expected to grow, possibly bringing flooding in low-lying areas.
Wednesday should be dry, but forecasters said another storm system was expected to impact Northern California on Thursday.