NATIONAL NEWS

Latest storm piles more snow on California mountains

Mar 29, 2023, 8:41 AM | Updated: 2:30 pm

Hazmat crew members look for hazardous waste in a neighborhood in Pajaro, Calif., on Tuesday, March...

Hazmat crew members look for hazardous waste in a neighborhood in Pajaro, Calif., on Tuesday, March 28, 2023. (Brontë Wittpenn/San Francisco Chronicle via AP)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(Brontë Wittpenn/San Francisco Chronicle via AP)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A cold low pressure system spinning off the coast of California sent bands of rain and snow across the state Wednesday, making travel difficult and adding to an epic mountain snowpack.

Forecasters said the storm was not as strong as the systems that pounded the state all winter, but that chains were required for vehicles on highways through the Sierra Nevada. A section of U.S. 395 on the eastern side of the range was closed because of the snowfall.

The San Francisco Bay Area was hit by gusty winds, hail and periods of heavy rain as multiple storm cells intensified quickly, the National Weather Service said. Flood advisories were issued in the afternoon for three counties south of San Francisco.

The Mammoth Mountain ski resort in the Eastern Sierra declared its snowiest season on record after 28 inches (70 centimeters) of snow since Tuesday afternoon pushed season snowfall totals to 695 inches (17.6 meters) at its main lodge and 870 inches (22.1 meters) at the summit of the 11,053-foot (3,369-meter) peak.

“It’s deep out there,” the resort wrote on its website.

Another foot (30 cm) or more of snow fell at resorts around Lake Tahoe, including 14 inches (35 cm) at Palisades south of Truckee. That resort is now within 11 inches (28 cm) of reaching its record of 701 inches (17.8 meters) and has announced plans to keep some slopes open until the Fourth of July.

The storm’s effects were more modest in Southern California, where steady rain ended by afternoon and sunshine returned. But forecasters cautioned that there could be evening thunderstorms and overnight snow in the mountains as the very cold low pressure system moved down the coast.

California was three years into a drought, with dwindling reservoirs and parched landscapes, until an unexpected series of powerful storms began in late December and continued into spring. While causing widespread damage that forced the declaration of emergencies in dozens of counties, the storms also have raised reservoir levels and built an extraordinary Sierra snowpack, a significant source of California’s water.

As of Wednesday, the water content of the snowpack was 234% of the April 1 average, a benchmark for its historical peak, according to the state Department of Water Resources.

The turnabout has allowed a rollback of some water-use restrictions, although Gov. Gavin Newsom has been careful to not declare the drought over.

California is expected to get additional precipitation by Saturday in the north and by Monday in the south. Forecasters said the system will be weaker than the current storm.

National News

Associated Press

Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs returns key to New York City in response to video of him attacking singer Cassie

NEW YORK (AP) — Sean “ Diddy ” Combs has returned his key to New York City after a request from Mayor Eric Adams in response to the release of a video showing the music mogul attacking R&B singer Cassie, officials said Saturday. The mayor’s office said Combs returned the key after Adams sent letters […]

1 hour ago

Associated Press

Victim identified in Southern California homicide case, 41 years after her remains were found

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — A victim whose skull was found by children in a Southern California city in 1983 has been identified 41 years after her remains were first discovered, authorities said. The Orange County Sheriff’s Department identified the victim Friday as Maritza Glean Grimmett, a Panamanian native who moved to the U.S. in […]

1 hour ago

Associated Press

Missouri abortion ban wasn’t about lawmakers imposing religious beliefs, judge says

A judge in Missouri says lawmakers who passed a restrictive abortion ban weren’t trying to impose their religious beliefs on everyone in the state, rejecting a case filed by more than a dozen Christian, Jewish and Unitarian Universalist leaders who support abortion rights. The groups sought a permanent injunction last year barring Missouri from enforcing […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

Malfunctioning steam room sets off alarm, prompts evacuation at Rhode Island YMCA

MIDDLETOWN, R.I. (AP) — A malfunctioning steam room at a YMCA in Rhode Island pumped out so much steam that it triggered an a sprinkler system alarm on Saturday morning, prompting an evacuation. In a statement, the Middletown Police Department said officials rushed to the Newport County YMCA in Middletown around 9 a.m. for a […]

6 hours ago

Associated Press

Think cicadas are weird? Check out superfans, who eat the bugs, use them in art and even striptease

FOREST PARK, Illinois (AP) — Mayumi Barrack sees a pair of mating periodical cicadas getting together, whips out her phone, says, “Hi guys!” and takes their picture. “I’m not really a bug person, but as I look more and more I feel they are adorable,” Barrack explained, noting that many other creatures — birds, squirrels, […]

11 hours ago

Associated Press

Police in Maine cancel shelter-in-place order after explosions and fire are reported

AUBURN, Maine (AP) — Police in Maine have canceled a shelter-in-place order in the city of Auburn after reporting that an armed person was in an area where a series of explosions and a house fire erupted early Saturday. The Auburn Police Department said on Facebook that the situation had been resolved and that there […]

12 hours ago

Latest storm piles more snow on California mountains