LOS ANGELES (AP) — A potent cold front from the Gulf of Alaska pushed into drought-stricken California on Tuesday, and forecasters predicted it would bring widespread rain, mountain snow, gusty winds and unusually low temperatures in much of the state.
With the calendar still saying autumn, winter storm warnings went into effect in much of the Sierra Nevada and forecasters advised against mountain travel due to expected deteriorating conditions.
“Travel could be very difficult to impossible,” the National Weather Service said.
The California Highway Patrol office at Truckee, in the Sierra north of Lake Tahoe, said drivers should expect chain controls and delays due to the first significant snow of the season.
Ebbetts, Sonora and Monitor passes were closed in anticipation of the storm, the California Department of Transportation said. Tioga Road through Yosemite National Park also was closed.
The weather service said the heaviest precipitation was expected in Northern California, with lighter totals across Southern California.
“While much needed, this precipitation will not make much of a dent in the extreme to exceptional drought that continues to plague much of California,” forecasters wrote.