Extreme Winter Fury: ‘Life-Threatening’ Blizzard Unleashes 12 Feet of Snow and 190 mph Winds on California

TRUCKEE, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 02: A plow cruises along Donner Pass Road as snow continues to fall in downtown Truckee, Calif., on Saturday, March 2, 2024.

California highways were closed due to a severe blizzard that hit the region, bringing heavy snow and strong winds with gusts reaching 190 mph.

William Churchill, a meteorologist from the National Weather Service, expressed serious concern for residents near Lake Tahoe due to the ongoing storm, which he described as a “extreme blizzard” on its third day.

Nevada, Utah, and Colorado were also impacted by the situation.

The National Weather Service in Sacramento shared on social media that there has been ongoing snowfall in the northern Sierra Nevada region.

“Wind gusts … are still causing blizzard conditions.”

Over 100 miles of I-80 are still closed from the Nevada border to Colfax, California, with no clear timeline for when it will reopen, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Countless travelers found themselves stuck in their cars for hours, with over 300 vehicles unable to move. As of Sunday night, over 7,800 homes and businesses in California were still without power following the storm, as reported by poweroutage.us.

“It is recommended that you remain at home, keep warm, and avoid putting yourself and your family in a risky situation,” shared the CHP in Truckee, California, on social media.

CHP Caution: 7 Feet Snowfall Hits South Lake Tahoe

TRUCKEE, CALIFORNIA – MARCH 02: A tractor piles up snow on Church Street in downtown Truckee, Calif., on Saturday, March 2, 2024.


Motorists were cautioned by the CHP office in South Lake Tahoe to use tire chains when driving through the mountains, as over 7 feet of snow accumulated over the weekend. 

The snowfall was forecasted to persist until Sunday. According to Alan Reppert, a senior meteorologist at AccuWeather, a smaller system may bring 1-2 feet of snow at higher elevations on Monday and Tuesday, as reported by USA TODAY.

The second storm was predicted to also bring some rain. “There are certain regions in the highest elevations that may still experience 10-12 feet,” mentioned Reppert.

“These storms occur every few years, but they are not unusual for the area and will not set any records.”

A blizzard warning was in effect until midnight for certain areas above 6,500 feet, while lower elevations were under a winter storm warning, according to the National Weather Service in Sacramento.

The Weather Prediction Center forecasted up to 12 feet of snow to fall along the Sierra by late Sunday.

Severe blizzards with winds exceeding 100 mph have stranded vehicles in the mountains of the West.

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