California buried by 10 FEET of snow as huge snowstorms hit through to New Year’s Eve

BBC Weather forecasts mild conditions across the UK

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Several feet of snow has covered parts of California, with the Sierra Nevada mountains and Northern California bearing the brunt of severe winter storms. Across Sierra, multiple locations have seen more than 100 inches of snow including Northstar which has had 117 inches (9.75 feet) and Diamond Peak 102 inches (8.5 feet). Now yet more snow is on the way, with storms threatening to dump up to 10 feet of snow by New Year’s Eve.

The snowstorms have triggered severe travel disruption, with heavy snow and strong winds shutting Interstate 80 from the Applegate foothills to the Nevada State line.

Now two new winter storms are forecast to further disrupt both Southern and Northern California as we head into the New Year.

One storm tracked across Los Angeles on Monday, with a second following on Tuesday night.

The second storm is forecast to bring rain, mountain snow and winds with the potential for further travel delays and flooding.

Read More: UK weather forecast: Atlantic storms to blast country with heavy rain

Steve Nelson, a Caltrans spokesman in El Dorado, Tahoe and Placer counties said: “Right now, there’s no in or out of the Tahoe area. Highways, everything is shut down.”

On Monday, the University of California’s Central Sierra Snow Lab confirmed a new record for snow fall with 38.9 inches recorded in 24 hours.

This put the total snowfall in December at 193.7 inches, or 16 feet.

The experts tweeted: “NEW DECEMBER RECORD: 193.7”

“With a 24 hour official #snow total of 38.9″ at the lab, we have smashed the previous record of 179” of snow in December set in 1970!

“Snow rates are still heavy and we could even break the 200″ mark today!”

The NWS has issued a winter weather advisory which is in effect from 4am PST on Wednesday through to 10am PST on Thursday.

The warning is for

  • Frazier Mountain Communities
  • Fresno-Tulare Lower Sierra
  • Grant Grove Area
  • Grapevine
  • Kaiser to Rodgers Ridge
  • Kern River Valley
  • Kings Canyon NP
  • Mariposa-Madera Lower Sierra
  • Piute Walker Basin
  • San Joaquin River Canyon
  • Sequoia NP
  • South End of the Lower Sierra
  • South End of the Upper Sierra
  • Tehachapi
  • Upper San Joaquin River
  • Yosemite NP outside of the valley

The warning cautions: “Snow expected. Total snow accumulations of up to 14 inches north of Kern County.

“Up to eight inches for the Kern County Mountains.”

Travel “could be very difficult to impossible. The hazardous conditions could impact the morning or evening commute. Plan on slippery road conditions.”

On Monday, Idamis Del Valle, a meteorologist with the NWS Sacramento office said: “What we’re telling people basically is to avoid mountain travel.

Further snow is forecast across much of California, including Central Sierra on Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning.

Ms Del Valle said: “It looks like we do have additional snow amounts continuing but for the most part two to six inches. This would be through Wednesday afternoon.”

As well as snow, heavy rain is forecast for parts of the state in what is a welcome reprieve from California’s long-standing drought. 

Joe Sirard, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Oxnard said: “Just because [the season] had a wet beginning doesn’t mean it will keep going, but we hope it does.

“It would be extremely beneficial for California. We need the rain so desperately, so we’re all hoping and praying that this rain will continue.”

As we head towards New Year’s Eve, the weather forecast is up in the air.

Mr Sirard explained: “The jury is still out as far as exactly what kind of weather we’re going to be getting on Thursday and Thursday night.”

The meteorologist said the system could be a “long duration event” which may bring snow and rain for a few days.

Some maps show rain and snow lasting through to Thursday and perhaps Friday.

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