Some of the highest peaks in California and Nevada are bracing for a massive multi-day storm that is expected to dump over eight feet of snow throughout the week, the Associated Press reported.
The storm, referred to as an “atmospheric river” weather system, absorbs moisture from the Pacific Ocean in order to deliver much-needed moisture to some of the highest peaks in California and Nevada, according to the Associated Press.
The “atmospheric river” system is typical around this time of year, but it is attracting attention because it is the first significant snowfall of the year and has the potential to disrupt travel as the holiday season approaches, National Weather Service meteorologist Anna Wanless told the AP.
“Most of California, if not all, will see some sort of rain and snow,” Wanless said. Kirkwood Mountain Resort in California closed Monday, saying travel conditions on the highway were unsafe after the region saw 17 inches of snow and high winds overnight, according to the AP.
“It’s just so bad and so thick,” one California Highway Patrol officer, Carlos Perez, told the AP. “We’re telling people that if they don’t need to be around this area, they probably shouldn’t travel.”
A second storm is predicted to hit California and Nevada midweek which will continue to dump large amounts of snow on the local mountains, Edan Weishahn, a member of the weather service in Reno, told the AP.
Donner Summit, located on Interstate 80 and a significant commerce commuter route, could see major travel disruptions and closures, Weishahn said.
The storm’s heavy winds could also trigger power outages in California and Nevada, Karly Hernandez, a spokesperson for Pacific Gas & Electric, told the AP.
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