US snowstorms – California and other west states are battered

Image source, Truckee Meadows Fire Department/Twitter
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Nevada’s snowfall affects traffic. Officials with the Fire Department respond to calls

Heavy storms have left thousands without power in the West.

California received nearly 30 inches of snow (76 cm) in 24 hours ending Sunday morning. Road closures were caused by the closing of roads, including Interstate 80’s 70-mile stretch into Nevada.

In six states, Avalanche Warnings are in force

Southern California was deluged by torrential rainstorms over the weekend. Power lines were ripped and roads were flooded.

According to officials, more than 1.8ins of rain fell within 24 hours at San Marcos Pass, Santa Barbara county. Rocky Butte, San Luis Obispo County recorded 1.61in.

According to the National Weather Service in Reno (Nevada), snowstorms will continue into Monday. Forecasters warned that traveling could be difficult for many days.

On Sunday, Avalanche Warnings were in effect for Nevada, Utah and Idaho. They are being issued because of the widespread unstable snowfall caused by storms. A winter storm warning was issued by the NWS for Lake Tahoe and beyond.

Residents in Washington, Oregon, and other regions were affected by power cuts, but northern California was most severely hit. Power Outage US reports that 56,000 people experienced power outages in their area in the morning of Monday, most notably in the northern coast counties and near the Nevada border.

The NWS in Montana warned of frostbite from “dangerously low wind chills” that could lead to frostbite on skin exposed within five minutes. Temperatures could feel as low at -48C with wind chill.

Rebuilding the Sierra snowpack will be one of the benefits from the California storms. This water source accounts for 30% of California’s freshwater supply. It was at dangerously low levels following weeks of drought.

According to the department of water resources of the state, snowpack values were in between 114%-137% of their normal ranges on Christmas Eve. However, more snow can be expected.

The west coast has been ravaged by severe storms. However, southern states are experiencing unusually warm temperatures. Hundreds of cities have already set themselves for the warmest December in history.

According to the NWS, Wichita Falls (near Texas’ border with Oklahoma) had experienced a record-breaking temperature of 32C (90F), while Houston recorded temperatures reaching 27C.

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