More than a foot of snow falls on parts of California's mountains

More than a foot of snow fell on parts of the Sierra Nevada during the latest winter storm, creating dangerous driving conditions for travelers.

While the mountains in Northern California saw significant snowfall, it would take several similarly sized storms to have a significant effect on snow-pack levels and the drought, said meteorologist Courtney Obergfell of the National Weather Service in Sacramento.


"It's a good start," she said. "Any amount helps."

The latest storm -- one of the most significant weather events this season -- dumped 20 inches of snow in Squaw Valley, which sits at an elevation of 8,200 feet, Obergfell said.

At 8,500 feet, Carson Pass received 45 inches of snow in the past 72 hours.

Local snowfall levels were between 2 and 10 inches, she said.

Tuesday could bring even more snow.

The storm, which is expected to last until Thursday, may unload 12 to 18 inches of snow in mountain communities. Regions above 7,000 feet could see two to three feet of snow, Obergfell said.

Although the latest snow isn't likely have a significant impact on the drought, it makes for excellent conditions for skiing and snowboarding.

On Facebook, Heavenly Mountain Ski Resort welcomed the new snow "coming down steadily on the mountain."

"We're backing up mother nature with a huge day of snow making on Big Dipper, the forecast for the whole week looks white," the resort's post said. "Keep thinking #heavenlysnow!"

The California Highway Patrol reported that snow fell above 7,000 feet along Interstate 80 near Truckee, leading to spin-outs and collisions.

The CHP Truckee station posted photographs on Facebook showing several vehicles that crashed into a snow embankment.

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