The massive winter storm hitting California this weekend and early this week, powered by an “atmospheric river” of moisture from the Pacific Ocean, forced the closure of many Lake Tahoe ski resorts Sunday due to extreme weather conditions.
The San Francisco Chronicle reported: “Ski resorts across the Sierra Nevada shut down for the day Sunday, with flooding, avalanche danger and high winds causing too many weather hazards for skiers and snowboarders.” Resorts are expected to re-open Monday, though rain and snow are still falling throughout the state, from Los Angeles through Northern California.
The precipitation is another sign that the state’s five-year drought may finally be coming to an end — although officials now fear that much off the water could be lost if warmer rain melts some of the snowpack that has already settled on the Sierra Nevada, and which typically feeds the state’s waterways through the spring. Flooding and landslides are also feared, as the runoff from the storm surges through California’s rivers and down mountains and hillsides ravaged by summer fires.
Flooding that was feared at Yosemite National Park has been narrowly averted, as the Merced River has stayed within a few feet of overflowing its banks. However, the park has largely been evacuated, leaving few to enjoy the rare spectacle of water gushing from new waterfalls down normally-dry mountain faces. A mudslide as large as a football field did flow onto the I-80 connecting Reno to San Francisco across the Sierra Nevada on Sunday Night, forcing the road’s closure in both directions.
The cold and wet weather did not deter participants in San Francisco’s annual “No Pants Subway Ride,” an unofficial event that attracts pranksters to the Bay Area Rapid Transit system, often to the amusement and horror of fellow commuters.
— San Francisco News (@SFnewsnow) January 9, 2017
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named one of the “most influential” people in news media in 2016. His new book, See No Evil: 19 Hard Truths the Left Can’t Handle, is available from Regnery through Amazon. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.