Massive snowfall closes I-80 in California

Two cold storms from the Pacific over the weekend have dumped snow on the Sierra Nevada, causing road closures due to heavy snow and whiteout conditions.

Here is a view from a CalTrans Camera at Soda Springs:

A winter storm warning remains in effect today until noon.

The NWS says that rain and mountain snows are expected to continue across parts of the Intermountain West and the Rockies today. The next round of precipitation is likely to arrive on the West Coast by Tuesday as a deep low pressure system moves into the eastern Pacific. Locally heavy rainfall is possible in the lower elevations of northern California and the Pacific Northwest, with snow in the higher elevations of the Cascades and mountains of northern California.

UPDATE: I-80 has re-opened as of 8AM Monday 1/7/2018. Live webcam here

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John Tillman
January 7, 2019 7:41 am

Three more inches of global warming!

Kids aren’t going to know what mountain passes in the winter are anymore.

Giles Bointon
Reply to  John Tillman
January 7, 2019 8:58 am

Ah but this snow is much warmer than it used to be.

John Tillman
Reply to  Giles Bointon
January 7, 2019 2:42 pm

That’s the ticket!

Jon Joebob
Reply to  Giles Bointon
January 12, 2019 12:19 pm

Tell that to Donner Party Descendants getting ready for a 2nd Thanksgiving w/ heaviest snow fall since last year! :DDD ……some people are wishing there really was such a thing as Global Warming! lol…….

Reply to  John Tillman
January 7, 2019 9:51 am

“Children in Pacific Island nations are at risk of not knowing what snow is.”

There. Fixed that. Now we can all agree.

Reply to  Javier
January 7, 2019 12:02 pm

There is snow in Hawaii almost every year in fact it has become more pervasive and longer lasting over the years. It is on top of a mountain, but it is snow nonetheless.

Ben of Houston
Reply to  marque2
January 7, 2019 12:16 pm

Has no one watched the King and I anymore? That was one of the most touching scenes, where the King showed he actually cared about his children.

Jon Joebob
Reply to  marque2
January 12, 2019 3:21 pm

Snow falls in Mexico and I’ve been skiing in Taiwan. There are actually 2 mountains of around 14,000 ft. and both skiing and snowboarding on them. But…. it’s a little further North than Hawaii and closer to Taipei! …..and if China thinks Taiwan would be so easy to take over, they’d have 10 times more resistance w/ them than any other country besides Vietnam. They’ve tried to take over Vietnam and failed. Taiwan has been free for over 70 yrs and if they can’t take over that little island just off their coast just meters away, a very rugged island like Taiwan would be impossible!

Reply to  John Tillman
January 7, 2019 12:14 pm

Widespread news headline a few ago:

“The End Of Snow”

Seven more inches of global warming at my home in Reno. Squaw Valley ski resort received 48 inches of fresh snowfall over the weekend at 8000 ft, and 28 inches at 6200 ft (Tahoe lake level).

Johann Wundersamer
Reply to  John Tillman
January 7, 2019 4:28 pm

But children can get chicken ice unrelated to seasons.

M Courtney
January 7, 2019 7:42 am

Weather not climate.

Lucius von Steinkaninchen
Reply to  M Courtney
January 7, 2019 8:22 am

Alas, that doesn’t prevent warmists to use localized heat waves and droughts as “undeniable proof” of global warming. So articles like that in this site are just keeping things even.

Rhys Jaggar
Reply to  Lucius von Steinkaninchen
January 8, 2019 2:01 am

Actually articles like this lower the author to the title of ‘village idiot’.

It snows every winter in the Sierra, that is how California does not die from drought every summer.

The levels of snow falling are modest by California standards. The winter snowpack so far is underwhelming.

When I read comments like ‘three more inches of global warming’ I think ‘troll’ or ‘uneducated dimwit’.

If you want to be taken seriously, discuss California snowfall like grown ups.

Better still, talk about the Nordstau in Austria which has brought huge snow depths across many areas. One local in one region said in 55 years of living there he had never seen anything like it.

Franz Dullaart
Reply to  M Courtney
January 7, 2019 8:30 am

Exactly! I totally agree!

When it’s cold it’s Weather, when it’s hot it’s Global Warming – Anthropocentric as well as Catastrophic.

Franz Dullaart
Reply to  M Courtney
January 7, 2019 8:40 am

Oh, I forgot to add – sometimes when it’s cold it’s also Global Warming …

Lucius von Steinkaninchen
Reply to  Franz Dullaart
January 7, 2019 10:05 am

That was ultimately the reason for shifting the name to “climate change”. That way they can blame CO2 for *any* unusual weather event.

Reply to  Lucius von Steinkaninchen
January 7, 2019 12:08 pm

You mean blame it on *any* weather. Things that were considered normal when I was a kid – yeah every few years we get that strong Nor’Easter, or a strong snow, – turned into climate change caused a storm. The Indian summer that I experienced every September when growing up, is now excessive September heat wave due to global warming. Every few years the river floods turned into – massive flooding due to global warming, etc.

Or it is reported as something new – sometimes by digging out old words. It isn’t just a common squall line, it is a derecho! And then we look it up and find derecho was defined 150 years ago – probably never happened back then, whether folks apparently just defined things just in case, when they weren’t busy defining collective nouns. (Lets see we’ll call geese gaggle, crows murder, – I am tired of this how about derecho for a strong linear weather event, should it happen. )

Reply to  marque2
January 7, 2019 7:40 pm

Lets see we’ll call geese gaggle, crows murder…

… but we are forever indebted to whomever named them “a charm of butterflies”.

Reply to  Lucius von Steinkaninchen
January 7, 2019 10:01 pm

Unusual?… I guess someone should tell the Donner Party.

Matthew Drobnick
Reply to  Franz Dullaart
January 7, 2019 10:55 am

I actually had an SVP of finance tell me that in the elevator when we got into a discussion after I scoffed at the propaganda on the box. She said
F you don’t know global warming causes colder weather…
She’s a bit on the crazy side, but cute.
. But crazy

Reply to  Matthew Drobnick
January 7, 2019 7:47 pm

No amount of cute cancels out the crazy.

I thought everyone knew global warming causes colder weather. I read it all the time in comments by true believers on all kinds of websites. (They can’t lie on the internet, can they?) 🙂

Reply to  M Courtney
January 7, 2019 12:01 pm

agreed. speaking of which I am currently in Austria. Our flight was lucky to get in and the drive from the airport pretty horrific. several local ski resorts are cut off with 210 cm of snow over the last week. That’s getting on for 7 feet in old money


Reply to  M Courtney
January 7, 2019 12:28 pm

Jerry Brown’s … never-ending drought … in the State of CA, includes periods of “EXTREME weather” … multiple snowpocalypses … polar vortexes… and snowclosures!! All caused by YOUR sinful use of fossil fuels. CA … NEVER … experienced intense weather events like this before the invention of the automobile … or at least before the arrival of the young hipster eco-progressive in Silicon Valley. Those new arrivals to the State KNOW that CA is supposed to be ALL mildly pleasant weather and palm trees. So they will VOTE for heroic eco-progressives like Jerry Brown … or the truly transformational Gavin Newsome who is promising more PUNISHMENT to fossil fuel users and producers in his inauguration speech. He is promising a clean, green, fossil-fuel-free future for all the Dreamers flooding across CA’s southern border. And most importantly, Gov. Newsome announced his WAR on BIG Oil, BIG Coal, and a BIG-mouthed Donald Trump.

/sarc. as EXTREME as the weather … as the Climate.

Bill Powers
Reply to  M Courtney
January 7, 2019 12:51 pm

Absolutely. We couldn’t conflate weather and climate until the 2 decade long pause in global surface temperatures and then suddenly Global Warming was evidenced by weather in the form of Hurricanes, Tornadoes, Snowstorms. These climate alarmists are now running around like chicken little screaming that the sky is falling and it is falling in some form of precipitation accompanied by high winds and it is all our fault for driving SUVs and Suddenly climate and weather are fraternal twins if not one in the same.

They make this stuff up as they go along because they know the propaganda press will run cover for them.

Reply to  Bill Powers
January 7, 2019 6:02 pm
January 7, 2019 7:42 am

Even the CalTrans Snow Plows were spinning out.

John Bell
January 7, 2019 7:50 am

Children won’t KNOW what SNOW is! ha ha ha what a maroon!

E J Zuiderwijk
Reply to  John Bell
January 7, 2019 8:34 am

You a Macron, perhaps?

Joel Snider
January 7, 2019 7:55 am

DAMN that climate change.

Guess they need a higher gas tax to clear out that road.

January 7, 2019 7:56 am

With high potency THC, they won’t know what snow is even when they see it.

Tom Halla
January 7, 2019 7:57 am

Didn’t Gov Moonbeam assure us that drought was the new normal?

Krishna Gans
January 7, 2019 7:59 am

In Austrian Alps they have to 4m of s.t. they don’t know

E J Zuiderwijk
Reply to  Krishna Gans
January 7, 2019 8:36 am
John Tillman
Reply to  Krishna Gans
January 7, 2019 8:38 am
Krishna Gans
Reply to  John Tillman
January 7, 2019 9:04 am

Snow hights in the Alp, actual:
450 cm (Mountain) | 231 cm (valley) (highest values different ski-regions)
Overview, Tal = valley, Berg=mountain)

Reply to  Krishna Gans
January 7, 2019 12:18 pm

Didn’t see this thread so I have reposted here. I am currently in Austria. Our flight was lucky to get in to Salzburg and the drive from the airport pretty horrific. several local ski resorts are cut off with 210 cm of snow over the last week. That’s getting on for 7 feet in old money. Snow forecast on and off for next few days. We shall be eating lots of apple strudel and drinking hot chocolate In the excellent cafes

Reply to  Tonyb
January 7, 2019 5:47 pm

I’m jealous, Tonyb. I fell in love with Salzburg the first time I was there. I’d love to be there now, over-snowed or not.

A C Osborn
Reply to  Tonyb
January 8, 2019 1:50 am

Tony, watch out for the Avalanches.

Crispin in Waterloo
January 7, 2019 8:02 am

To interpret the Runes and tea leaves properly, you have to understand that this change from permanent drought to permanent wet is caused by land use changes, irrigation and the building of large dams storing water – all being unnatural and directly attributable to Man-The-Destroyer.

I sincerely hope Californians can endure the loss of sunshine and the new permanent wet conditions from now to eternity. The only relief will come when it changes (again) from perpetual wet to perpetual drought. Just as in Hollywood, love is forever, so are all weather phenomena in California. Adapt to the local lingo.

(PS I like the new auto-fill for name and address)

Jim Whelan
Reply to  Crispin in Waterloo
January 7, 2019 8:39 am

Exactly. I thought we were in a permanent drought. But suddenly we’re getting tons of rain. Perpetual wet is certain to follow.

I’ve lived in northern San Diego for 50 years. The I-15 freeway passes over a lake which is a good indication of current drought conditions. It dries up over drought years and bushes grow under the freeway. Then we get the rain and the lake fills up. Water as far as you can see east and west under the freeway. And people go to watch the waterfall as the dam spillway overflows. It’s done that four or five times in the time I’ve been here and this is no exception. The climate is not changing, it’s the same as it’s always been.

Richard Lyman
Reply to  Jim Whelan
January 7, 2019 8:57 am

Jim Whelan: Ah yes. Lake Hodges in Escondido. I have walked across the hiking trail bridge over the lake bed a few times while visiting my mom. From what I understand, the Greens will not allow any brush and tree clearing in the lake bottom when it is dry so as to preserve the wildlife habitat–at least until it floods and the habitat changes. Apparently coyotes and rabbits do not live under water. Who knew?

Reply to  Richard Lyman
January 7, 2019 10:28 am

The greens may have a point there. After all the trees and bushes will die during the next flood period in any case. And the dead vegetation is probably good fish habitat.

Phil R
Reply to  Richard Lyman
January 7, 2019 11:18 am

Heh, that’s funny. I don’t live in CA and never heard of Lake Hodges, so did a quick search. in the images that came up, one was of the pedestrian bridge over the lake, and it looked like a dead forest sticking out of the water underneath it.

Reply to  Jim Whelan
January 7, 2019 9:10 am
Reply to  Jim Whelan
January 7, 2019 9:41 am

There is an old political joke here in CA, that the drought is officially over when the office door gets repainted from:

Randle Dewees
Reply to  Jim Whelan
January 7, 2019 7:01 pm

“Lake” Hodges, used to commute by there daily. Some years malaria is a problem in that area

January 7, 2019 8:05 am

When does Musk come out with the subsidy funded, high-speed rail tunnel under the Sierras?

mark from the midwest
Reply to  ResourceGuy
January 7, 2019 8:25 am

It would be awesome, the eastern terminus of the rail line could be somewhere just north west of Ogden, and we could all reenact the Golden Spike Ceremony

Steven Fraser
Reply to  mark from the midwest
January 7, 2019 11:14 am

150 year anniversary is next May, the 9th or 10th.

Krishna Gans
January 7, 2019 8:10 am

picture series from heavy snow in Alps

Reply to  Krishna Gans
January 7, 2019 5:51 pm

WOW. Thanks, KG.

Reply to  Krishna Gans
January 7, 2019 6:03 pm


Snow is a thing of the present.

January 7, 2019 8:10 am

But , but, but… I thought, “..Soon children won’t even know what snow looks like.” ~Dr. Viner, high-ranking IPCC official, The Indeoendent, March, 2000..

Just wait until around 2021 when: a strong La Niña cycle, a 50-year Grand Solar Minimum, and the 30-year PDO/AMO/NAO ocean cool cycles all start at the same time…

Oh, my…

January 7, 2019 8:12 am

Bring on the electric snow plows!

Reply to  ResourceGuy
January 7, 2019 8:23 am

With really long extension cords.

John V. Wright
Reply to  ResourceGuy
January 7, 2019 11:13 am


Steven Fraser
Reply to  ResourceGuy
January 7, 2019 11:15 am

Ah, just go directly to Nuke Train.

Another Paul
Reply to  ResourceGuy
January 7, 2019 12:47 pm

“electric snow plows” Wait why plow it? We’ll just use the solar roadway to melt it all.

Reply to  Another Paul
January 7, 2019 6:54 pm

Paul: “We’ll just use the solar roadway to melt it all.”

Stop! Stop! You’re killing me here! 🤣🤣🤣

Bruce Cobb
January 7, 2019 8:19 am

That’s “extreme weather, which means “climate change”. Meanwhile, in southern regions of NH and to the south, there is a dearth of snow, which is “global warming”. The Climatese language is tricky.

January 7, 2019 8:27 am

Take a note:
This is not good old fashion snow of the pre-industrial age type.
This is catastrophic anthropogenic global warming snow, better known as the AGW CACA snow.

January 7, 2019 8:31 am

That must be part of the same system that has dumped over a meter of snow north, into BC and Alberta, from Banff to Jasper. Closing roads and causing natural avalanches, while officials have been out triggering man made avalanches so they can get the roads open again without fear of more avalanches coming down on traffic once they get the roads open again. Like every year, there are the people who don’t listen to the warnings to stay out of the mountain back country, and end up having to be rescued or get themselves killed.

E J Zuiderwijk
January 7, 2019 8:32 am

The clue is in the name: Sierra Nevada.

Dan Evens
January 7, 2019 8:42 am

That is clearly the snow that is missing from Toronto this season. We have less than 2 inches snow so far this season. But don’t worry. I don’t mind if you keep it. Feel free!

Reply to  Dan Evens
January 7, 2019 9:44 am

I wouldn’t get too cocky, there are a couple of months of winter to go yet. We may get to have a good laugh at you, especially if Toronto wants call in the military again to clear your snow.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Rob
January 7, 2019 1:18 pm

“there are a couple of months of winter to go yet”

Yes, the cold is headed east, it just takes a number of weeks to work its way across the continent.

January 7, 2019 8:42 am

Looked it up.
Mount Baker, south east from Vancouver in Washington State has the record for snowfall at a ski area.
In the 1998 to 1999 winter.
1140 inches
95 feet.
29 meters
Will it soon be broken?
What with all them cosmic rays and such.

January 7, 2019 9:05 am

I heartily recommend, “Nothing Like It in the World” by Stephen Ambrose describing the railroad construction through the Western mountains. The “snow sheds” were an engineering and construction marvel, almost impossible to believe men and draft animals could accomplish such a task under the conditions they faced. But Jerry would just shrug it off with a “It;s the new abnormal”.

Reply to  Wharfplank
January 7, 2019 10:52 am

I remember visiting Rogers Pass many years ago and finding what looked like an old abandoned overgrown road in the forest. It was actually the original CPR line. So many people were killed by avalanches that they finally abandoned the railway through the pass and built a tunnel instead.

The whole valley is a patchwork of forest strips of different ages where avalanches have swept away trees and started a new tree generation. Some places are simply not meant to have railways.

John Robertson
January 7, 2019 9:06 am

Feet not inches,this is how we now measure Global Warming.
Are the rotary snow plows in action,over Donner Pass yet?
Beautiful machines.
Impossible without affordable energy.

The historical illiteracy of the, Man Made Changing Climate, people is their Trade Mark.
The whole scheme went sideways when the team (IPCC) allowed the Mann to pretend history never happened.Vikings in Greenland? Local event! Honest,trust us we are the authority.

This was followed by endless idiocy, speculation on extrapolations of linear trends from weather cycles.You can “predict ” amazing results by taking linear trends from any sine wave,fortunately reality does not support such daftness.
What evidence stands?
What Global Warming/Climate Change can we be sure of?
What signal stands out from the noise?
And of course,what can be attributed to the acts of man?

Chicken Little Rules.

Krishna Gans
Reply to  John Robertson
January 7, 2019 9:40 am

Wouldt you say “Mann Made Changing Climate ?

Reply to  John Robertson
January 7, 2019 11:01 am

rotary snow plows in action,over Donner Pass

January 7, 2019 9:18 am

Jerry Brown is a direct descendant of the guy who told the Donner party “getting through the pass won’t be a problem”

Reply to  troe
January 7, 2019 10:29 am

He’s also the descendant of the Donner-party guy who was asked “How’s it taste?”, and answered “Varies from person to person.”

January 7, 2019 9:34 am

Next up, climate change causes mudslides and it’s worse than we thought.

January 7, 2019 9:56 am

I think the wind and white out conditions were more of a factor in closing the freeway than the “massive” snowfall (which really wasn’t that massive, really just a typical good snowstorm in the Sierra).

Highway 395 on the east side of the Sierra was closed too. Blowing snow caused accidents and cars were trapped in snow banks.

January 7, 2019 10:01 am

John Robertson
Your “extrapolations of linear trends”.
In the financial markets, I’ve called it “Tangential Extrapolation”.
The slope of the curve indicates the emotions of the financial analyst at that instant.
The cycle goes from hyperbolic up to the equivalent at the bottom.

Paul Drahn
January 7, 2019 10:20 am

My #1 grandson drives snow plow in the area for Caltrans. Loves it. 12 hour shifts brings in lots of money. He lives in Colfax.

January 7, 2019 10:40 am

Closing I80 for storms is quite common and happens many times per winter. Either Caltrans can’t keep up, land slides are blocking it or there were many accidents by people who don’t know how to drive in snow. Some people think 4wd is a license to go fast in the snow. Yes, you can accelerate, but the problem is stopping.

Squaw valley has gotten > 4′ of snow in the last 2 days with more on the way, so I suspect more road closings are in the cards.

January 7, 2019 11:22 am

But…but…but…there was record snow fall in South Carolina just a few weeks ago but now it’s too warm…….

January 7, 2019 12:20 pm

Don’t know when the rain actually happened, but yesterday on the radio we got the usual, when we have lots of rain. We had rain over the weekend in San Diego and Southern CA, but the Sierra snow pack is only at 69%.

They always look for the worst thing to report. Granted, Sierra snow impacts water availability in Northern CA, and for the Valley farmers.

January 7, 2019 12:27 pm

Report from Incline Village. Been here for 11 years. Haven’t really noticed much change. Heavy snow years 2019 and, of course the atmospheric river winter of ‘16-‘17.

Summer of 2018 was hot, but no other noticeable changes.

Reply to  Don
January 7, 2019 12:38 pm

Don’t forget 2011.

Steven Mosher
January 7, 2019 12:38 pm

For the NH Long term

” Projections of the NH spring snow covered
area by the end of the 21st century vary between a decrease of 7%
(RCP2.6) and a decrease of 25% (RCP8.5), with a pattern that is fairly
consistent between models.”

not gunna lose all the snow, despite what Vinter feared.

Short term

“Anthropogenic climate change may also bring systematic cold-season
precipitation changes. As with previous models, CMIP5 projections
generally agree in projecting a winter precipitation increase over the
northern half of NA (Figure 14.18 and AI.19). This is associated with
increased atmospheric moisture, increased moisture convergence, and
a poleward shift in ETC activity (Section 14.6.2 and Table 14.3). The
change is consistent with CMIP3 model projections of positive NAO
trends (Table 14.3; Hori et al., 2007; Karpechko, 2010; Zhu and Wang,
2010). Winter precipitation increases extend southward into the USA
(northern portions of SREX regions 3 to 5; Neelin et al., 2013) but
with decreasing strength relative to natural variability. This behaviour
is qualitatively reproduced in higher resolution simulations (Figure
14.18). “

John Tillman
Reply to  Steven Mosher
January 7, 2019 2:19 pm

And yet spring snow cover, far from declining, has increased.

It all has to do with oceanic oscillations and nothing at all with four (in 2019) rather than three (in 1919) molecules of plant food per 10,000 dry air molecules.

John Tillman
Reply to  John Tillman
January 7, 2019 2:56 pm

Depending upon when you start, but basically unchanged during the interval of satellite observations, with excursions associated with oceanic oscillations:

Reply to  Steven Mosher
January 7, 2019 2:50 pm

Last week, Mike Mann said we might see 20 feet of sea level rise over the next 80 years.

Do you think people like Mike are stupid or are they knowingly lying and pushing a fear-mongering agenda or is there some other explanation?

Reply to  Albert
January 7, 2019 5:59 pm

Albert: “Do you think people like Mike [Mann] are stupid or are they knowingly lying and pushing a fear-mongering agenda . . . ?”


Eric Brownson
January 7, 2019 1:24 pm

Scientists predicted in 2000 that kids would grow up without snow. 18 years ago UK climate scientists argued that global warming would make snowfall a “a very rare and exciting event”.

“Children just aren’t going to know what snow is,” Dr. David Viner, a scientist with the climatic research unit at the University of East Anglia, told the UK Independent in 2000.

January 7, 2019 1:42 pm

At least seven people have died in the Alps during a weekend of heavy snow, with skiers facing a high avalanche risk in Austria, Germany and Italy.
More heavy snow is expected in the coming days – as much as 120cm (4ft) of fresh snow in Austria by Thursday.

Patrick MJD
January 7, 2019 7:17 pm

Massive snow falls all over Europe too, as far south as Greece. More global warming it seems.

Anthony Banton
Reply to  Patrick MJD
January 8, 2019 2:08 am

Snow needs H2O as well as temps ~0C.
Atmospheric H2O increases as T increases.
IE: It’s not a proxy for temp (coldest surface temps occur when dry).
So yes “More global warming it seems.”

Reply to  Patrick MJD
January 8, 2019 2:53 am

The current pattern of the polar vortex in the middle stratosphere indicates the influx of Arctic air to Europe.
comment image

January 8, 2019 8:51 am


“UPDATE: I-80 has re-opened as of 8AM Monday 1/7/2018. Live webcam here

This year — 2019?

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Kip Hansen
January 8, 2019 6:13 pm

It’s ok. For some reason people forgot it’s 2019. Even here in Sydney, local oganisers of fireworks had “Happy New Year 2018!” splashed all over the harbour bridge.

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