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Californians enjoy a white Christmas in parts of the state after snowfall

LOS ANGELES (AP), Several parts of California are experiencing a White Christmas, with snow falling across the state.

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Californians enjoy a white Christmas in parts of the state after snowfall

However, California's other areas experienced a rainy and wet Christmas. The state was still being drenched by storms, which caused flash flooding and forced evacuations.

The 70-mile (113 km) stretch of interstate that runs over the Sierra Nevada was closed Saturday after a storm dropped almost 2 feet (60 cm) of snow at some Tahoe ski resorts overnight.

Due to poor visibility at the Nevada-California state border to Colfax, California, Interstate 80 was closed between Reno, Nevada and Sacramento, California.

"The worst part is here, so expect long delays," Truckee's California Highway Patrol tweeted Saturday afternoon.

Friday night through Saturday saw snowfall of 20 inches (50 cm) at Homewood, Tahoe's west coast. Northstar, near Truckee in California reported a foot (30 cm) and Mount Rose ski resort, on the southwest side of Reno 10 inches (25 cm).

Officials from the University of California Berkeley's Central Sierra Snow Laboratory asked on Twitter if recent snowfall could surpass the 1970 record of 179 inches (4.6 m) for the Sierra.

According to The Mercury News, there have been at least 119 inches (3 metres) of rainfall so far in this month, and more are expected over the next 72 hour.

After recent dry weeks, the Sierra snowpack was dangerously low. However, the Department of Water Resources in the state reported that snowpack levels were between 114% to 137% of normal across the range. More snow is expected.

Crews in the San Bernardino National Forest are working on an emergency $4.2 million project to fix a section State Route 18 that washed away from a hillside Thursday night after heavy rain, according The San Bernardino Sun.

According to the newspaper, the road is a major route to Big Bear Lake. The closure near Panorama Point could take several days or weeks.

According to the National Weather Service (NWS), Los Angeles will likely see rain and snow over the next week. Temperatures will be significantly lower than normal during the middle part of the week.

San Diego should experience scattered showers with heavy snowfall in the San Bernardino, Riverside County mountains. Rain may also fall into Thursday.

According to the weather service, rain showers are expected in the San Francisco Bay Area through Monday, before temperatures drop and dry conditions set in the middle of next week.

Storms in the West could bring rain and snow to large parts of the region next week, and plunge the Pacific Northwest into a prolonged cold snap. They are following an atmospheric river that brought copious amounts of precipitation earlier in the week.

According to the National Weather Service, Seattle-Tacoma will likely see as much as 3 inches (7.6 cm) of snow this weekend. The temperature in Seattle will drop to 18°F (-7.7°C) by next week. This is the lowest level in many years. Coeur d'Alene in Idaho will drop down to -5 F (-20 C), while Portland will plummet to the low 20s or high teens.

Nevada saw snow and rain records broken, and Oregon officials declared an emergency to prevent the onset of freezing temperatures, snow and/or ice.

Recent forecasts indicate that at least one inch of snow will fall in Seattle and Portland on Sunday, which aren't used to seeing snow very often.

Forecasters and officials from the state say that the main concern is the cold temperatures in the region. Daytime temperatures next week will struggle to exceed freezing. This is likely to affect those experiencing homelessness or without access to heating.

A winter advisory was in effect in Arizona from Saturday through Sunday in the higher elevations of the mountain range north of Grand Canyon, Colorado. However, the rain that fell on Flagstaff and Phoenix on Friday had moved out of the region.

The old record of 0.87 in (2.2 centimeters), set in 2019, was broken by the 1.67 in (4.2 centimeters of rain) that fell at Flagstaff's airport on Friday. Friday's Phoenix rainfall of 1.67 inches (4.2 centimeters), broke the previous record of 0.87 inches (2.2 centimeters), set in 2019.

This was also the city's wettest day since February 22, 2020 when it rained just over an inch.

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