Early snow blankets Sierra Nevada, delighting drought-weary California

An unusual early snowstorm blanketed the Sierra Nevada over the weekend, but the welcome sight isn’t expected to last long as a warming trend spreads across California.

The first snow of the season dumped up to 3 inches along the Lake Tahoe Basin, forcing authorities to shut down California 108 at Sonora Pass, which remained closed Monday, said Tom Dang, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Sacramento.

It was the first time in several years that a storm had dropped so much snow on the Sierra this early in the year, he added.

“We are not complaining,” Dang said. “Any and all rain is very much appreciated.”


Photographs showed a thick blanket of snow over a picturesque Lake Tahoe community.

Heavenly Mountain Ski Resort welcomed the first snow on its Facebook page while exhorting fans of winter to “keep up the snow dances.”

Mammoth Mountain, a popular snowboarding destination, also posted photographs of snow-covered hills and ski lifts.

Mt. Whitney showed a dusting of snow. Two inches of snow were reported at Mt. Tom Fire Lookout, the National Weather Service reported.

But it will all be but a memory come this weekend, when a warming trend is expected to melt most of white stuff, Dang said.

The warming trend is expected to carry over into the Southland, where temperatures are forecast to be 20 degrees above normal, forecasters said.

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