SAN FRANCISCO – A spring storm brought several feet of snow to the Sierra Nevada and rain to parts of the San Francisco Bay Area, with more stormy weather expected this week.
The seven-day snow total topped 3 feet (.9 meters) in some mountain areas as of Saturday, UC Berkeley’s Central Sierra Snow Lab reported.
“We’re getting a bit of an abundant April!” the research station in Soda Springs said on Twitter.
Mammoth Mountain in the eastern Sierra reported a foot (30 cm) of fresh snow. The resort has said it would remain open to skiing and snowboarding until Memorial Day.
Lake Tahoe resorts also reported significant snowfall. Drivers heading up to the mountains were urged to use caution because of slippery conditions.
Parts of Northern California including the Bay Area could see pockets of rain for much of the week thanks to an unsettled weather pattern stalling over the region, the National Weather Service said.
The welcome precipitation could help slow the start of the fire season, but won’t do anything to alleviate the state's drought, said Matt Mehle with the weather service office in San Francisco.
“What this rain is doing is bringing moisture and allowing grasses and finer fuels to grow and green up,” Mehle told the San Francisco Chronicle. “It will alleviate fire concerns, at least for the short term.”
The wet spring weather follows an exceptionally dry winter that leaves California to face another year of drought and tightening water supplies.
The Sierra Nevada snowpack, a key part of the water supply, was just 30% of the April 1 average, the date when it historically is at its peak, the California Department of Water Resources said earlier this month.