TRUCKEE, Calif. — The latest in a series of storms dusted Northern California beaches with snow and caused whiteout conditions on mountain roads, closing a major highway.
A stretch of Interstate 80, a key route through the Sierra Nevada to Lake Tahoe, was closed Saturday because of heavy snow and strong winds. Officials hoped to reopen it later Sunday.
The National Weather Service office in Eureka reported rare accumulating snow at sea level. A photo posted by meteorologist Eric McCormick of KIEM-TV showed Clam Beach in Arcata covered in fresh powder.
Meanwhile, scattered showers and snow at elevations as low as 3,500 feet were predicted for Southern California. Motorists were urged to use caution on mountain passes.
The weather service reported 0.17 inches of rain Sunday in Lancaster, a trace in Palmdale and 0.03 inches in Palmdale.
According to data from the Los Angeles County Department of Water and Power, Quartz Hill received 0.15 inches of rain and Littlerock got 0.04 inches. No measurable rain was recorded in Lake Los Angeles or Llano.
Sunny skies are in the forecast today, but the monthlong trend of below-normal temperatures will continue, with highs only in the 40s to lower 50s, and west winds 15 to 25 mph, with gusts to 35 mph.
Another storm is predicted to hit the greater Los Angeles area by midweek.
The last time Humboldt County beaches saw snow was during the winter of 2002-03, said Brad Charboneau, a meteorologist with the weather service.
“It’s pretty unusual to reach the ground and accumulate,” he said.
Snow has stuck on the ground at sea level 28 times in the past 130 years, according to historical records cited by the San Francisco Chronicle. It has fallen and not accumulated an additional 19 times.
The system in the north was dissipating by midday.
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