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Blustery, cold storm adds to California's big snowpack

California Drought Storm Survey
Kenneth James / AP
California Department of Water Resources
In this photo provided by the California Department of Water Resources, forecasting chief Sean de Guzman, second from right, and engineers work the measurement phase of the first media snow survey of the season at Phillips Station in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Calif., Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2023.

A blustery weekend storm added to California's big mountain snowpack, leaving icy conditions in the Sierra Nevada early Monday.

Chains were required on sections of Sierra highways, but a backcountry avalanche warning for the greater Lake Tahoe area expired around sunrise.

For a time on Sunday, about 74 miles (119 kilometers) of U.S. 395 were closed due to whiteout conditions, according to the California Department of Transportation.


The storm dropped 16 inches to 24 inches (40-61 centimeters) of snow at Mammoth Mountain in the Eastern Sierra and the season total so far at its main lodge surpassed 400 inches (1,016 cm), the resort's website said.

“It is incredibly cold out there,” the resort said.