Ski and snowboard fans may have to make plans to stay inside over the Presidents Day three-day weekend instead of taking to the slopes as state officials warn there is too much snow to be cleared making mountain roads dangerous.
Mammoth Mountain, a popular ski resort, is just 5 inches short of 30-year snowfall record for February.
The Daily Mail reported:
The storm was expected to dump between 3 and 6 feet (1 to 2 meters) of fresh snow in a region where some ski resorts reported getting 3 feet (1 meter) since Thursday. Officials warned of avalanches in the greater Lake Tahoe Area, where heavy snow and high winds were expected through Sunday.
Chains were required for travel in many other parts of the towering Sierra Nevada.
“All avid skiers are itching to get out on the mountain, but the roads are pretty treacherous right now,” Kevin Cooper, marketing director for Lake Tahoe TV, said in the Mail report.
“State Route 267 is so deep that plows can no longer plow. They have ordered up a large blower to try and clear the pass,” Placer County sheriff’s Lt. Andrew Scott said in a tweet with a video.
⚠️ Current view along EB I80 just before Applegate: traffic at a complete standstill. Please stay home and avoid traveling to the Sierra unless you absolutely have to. ❄️ ❄️ pic.twitter.com/G30h1C2N6T
— Placer Sheriff (@PlacerSheriff) February 17, 2019
“The storms heavily damaged – and in some places destroyed – parts of roads leading to Idyllwild and other mountain communities about 100 miles (161 kilometers) east of Los Angeles, but access was not cut off,” according to the Mail.
“We’re discouraging tourism and snow play up there this weekend,” California Department of Transportation spokeswoman Terri Kasinga said.
Weather forecasters are predicting snow storms in northern Arizona this weekend. And in some parts of Colorado, Montana, and Wyoming, road crews are clearing avalanches that closed highways and doing operations to prevent more slides.
The Union of Concerned Scientists has a white paper on its website that warns the western United States will suffer drought and reduced snowpack, even as strong snowstorms hit in the northwest U.S. and above-normal rainfall measurements in southern California have been recorded so far this year.
Follow Penny Starr on Twitter