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Snow in San Francisco? Mild cities don't escape winter storm

Published
This photo provided by the Mammoth Mountain ski area shows workers walking through snow during a winter storm in Mammoth Mountain, Calif., Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019. Snow, ice and shivering cold blasted normally mild cities from Seattle to Las Vegas to San Francisco on Tuesday as the winter weather sweeping across the U.S. West shuttered schools, made travel treacherous and closed all roads in Yosemite National Park. (Peter Morning/Mammoth Mountain ski area via AP)

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Snow, ice and shivering cold blasted normally mild cities from Seattle to Las Vegas to San Francisco on Tuesday as winter weather sweeping across the U.S. West shuttered schools, made travel treacherous and closed all roads in Yosemite National Park.

Winter storms have been hitting the West for several days and brought a surprise dusting to peaks overlooking San Francisco — the city's first notable snow in eight years. Snow also piled higher at ski resorts, closing runs in Lake Tahoe and the California mountains as snow reached 7 to 10 feet (2 to 3 meters) since Saturday.

"We don't get snow up here in the area," said Jess Moseley, who traveled from the San Francisco Bay Area to snowy Mount Diablo State Park 40 miles (64 kilometers) away. "You have to go to Tahoe or wherever to play in the snow. So we just came up to see if it was still here, and it is."

In the Pacific Northwest, lows plunged into the teens in Seattle, making roads slick and closing schools throughout the area for a second day. Unusual snow fell a day earlier, causing crashes and canceling flights, and lower-than-normal temperatures were expected throughout the week.

Rare snow and cold also walloped Portland, Oregon, where it shut schools and left some higher elevation roads slick.

Natalie Razey, 9, of Lake Oswego, Oregon, said that when the snow flurries started Monday, her teacher shared some advice for ensuring a snow day Tuesday.

"Our teacher let us do a snow dance while it was snowing at school yesterday, and I flushed ice cubes down the toilet and I put spoons under my pillow," she said during a break from sledding and snowball fights.

In Nevada, the National Weather Service reported light snow in northwest Las Vegas.

Lake Tahoe-area ski resorts celebrated the biggest storm of the season, with 3 feet (1 meter) recorded over 24 hours. That brought the total to about 7 feet (2 meters) at Heavenly Ski Resort and Kirkwood Mountain Resort since Saturday. But so much snow fell, they could only open limited trails.

About 120 miles (190 kilometers) south, Mammoth Mountain Resort reported 10 feet (3 meters) of snow since Saturday and closed all but a few trails.

Yosemite's ski area also shut down, while restaurants had shorter hours and shuttles were not running because of snow-covered roads.

"It's beautiful and we certainly need the snow, but we're asking people to stay indoors," park spokesman Scott Gediman said.

California is still recovering from a drought that led to tight water restrictions and contributed to severe wildfires.

In Utah, a semi-trailer slid off an icy highway in a canyon and hit a deputy, sending him to the hospital with serious injuries and closing the road. The unnamed Rich County sheriff's deputy is expected to survive. He was hit outside his vehicle as he investigated a different semi-trailer that had lost control and rolled off the road.

It was one of several crashes across Utah as several inches of snow fell.

Montana residents braved the third day of subzero temperatures and biting wind chill.

Wind and fresh snowfall led officials to warn of high avalanche danger in southwestern Montana near Yellowstone National Park, and an avalanche warning was in place for the Centennial Mountains in eastern Idaho.

The region, which also includes northwestern Wyoming, was expected to receive up to 8 more inches (20 centimeters) of snow in the mountains by Wednesday.

For much of the rest of Montana, officials warned of wind chills between 20 and 35 degrees below zero through Wednesday. In those conditions, frostbite can set in within 10 minutes, officials said.

Those who ventured out in downtown Helena during a break in the snow shrugged off the minus 4 degree temperature, calling it one prolonged cold snap in what's been a relatively mild winter.

"It's inconvenient, that's all," said Bruce Schwartz, a 62-year-old retiree. "I'm going to work out and spend a lot of time soaking in the hot tub."

___

Associated Press writers Olga Rodriguez in San Francisco; Scott Sonner in Reno, Nevada; Matt Volz in Helena, Montana; and Terry Chea at Mount Diablo State Park, California, contributed to this report.

A snow sculpture is dressed as the fish mongers working behind as people walk into the Pike Place Market in near-freezing weather Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019, in Seattle. Winter weather closed schools and disrupted travel across much of the West, with ice and snow stretching from Seattle to Arizona. The Pacific Northwest shivered Tuesday under colder-than-normal conditions as snow and treacherous conditions led to another day of school closures. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Fan palms are covered with a layer of snow in the front yard of a home in Portland, Ore., after a winter storm overnight brought light snow and icy conditions to the Portland metropolitan region. Many schools were closed and authorities reported crashes from slick roads. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)
Snow covers the top of Big Rock Ridge in San Rafael, Calif., Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019. Winter storms have been hitting the West for several days and brought a surprise dusting to peaks overlooking San Francisco — the city's first notable snow in eight years. (Alan Dep/Marin Independent Journal via AP)
An Alaska Airlines plane takes off above arriving flights waiting for gate assignments, Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019, at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in Seattle. There were still some delays at the airport the day after winter weather pounded a swath of the U.S. West on Monday, closing schools and delaying flights in coastal cities like Seattle that rarely get much snow. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
This Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019, photo provided by the National Park Service shows snow in Yosemite National Park, Calif. A storm has dumped heavy rain and snow at Yosemite National Park, closing all roads, toppling trees and triggering a rockslide. Officials at the popular Northern California park urged visitors to stay indoors Tuesday. (National Park Service via AP)
A car belonging to a state agency drives over a light coating of snow on the otherwise closed Alaskan Way viaduct in near-freezing weather Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019, in Seattle. The highway closed several weeks earlier, replaced with a two-mile tunnel running under downtown Seattle and which opened a day earlier. Winter weather closed schools and disrupted travel across much of the West, with ice and snow stretching from Seattle to Arizona. The Pacific Northwest shivered Tuesday under colder-than-normal conditions as snow and treacherous conditions led to another day of school closures. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Snow and tiny icicles sit on red viburnum berries Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019, in Lake Oswego, Ore., after a winter storm overnight brought light snow and icy conditions to the Portland, Ore., metropolitan region. Many schools were closed and authorities reported crashes from slick roads. (AP Photo/Gillian Flaccus)
Orion Springer Lich sleds down Bolinas Ridge Road on cardboard after a light dusting of snow on Mount Tamalpais State Park, Calif., Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019. Winter storms have been hitting the West for several days and brought a surprise dusting to peaks overlooking San Francisco — the city's first notable snow in eight years. (James Cacciatore/Marin Independent Journal via AP)
Pedestrians brave the sub-zero temperatures in downtown Helena, Montana, on Tuesday, February 5, 2019. Winter weather closed schools and disrupted travel across much of the U.S. West, with ice and snow stretching from Seattle to Arizona. (AP Photo/Matt Volz)
A child climbs the partially snow-covered sides of the International Fountain, shut to a dribble in near-freezing weather, Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019, at the Seattle Center in Seattle. Winter weather closed schools and disrupted travel across much of the West, with ice and snow stretching from Seattle to Arizona. The Pacific Northwest shivered Tuesday under colder-than-normal conditions as snow and treacherous conditions led to another day of school closures. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
This photo provided by the Mammoth Mountain ski area shows a man digging snow next to a vehicle during a winter storm in Mammoth Mountain, Calif., Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019. Snow, ice and shivering cold blasted normally mild cities from Seattle to Las Vegas to San Francisco on Tuesday as the winter weather sweeping across the U.S. West shuttered schools, made travel treacherous and closed all roads in Yosemite National Park. (Peter Morning/Mammoth Mountain ski area via AP)
Fan palms are covered with a layer of snow in the front yard of a home in Portland, Ore., after a winter storm overnight brought light snow and icy conditions to the Portland metropolitan region. Many schools were closed and authorities reported crashes from slick roads. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)
Fan palms are covered with a layer of snow in the front yard of a home in Portland, Ore., after a winter storm overnight brought light snow and icy conditions to the Portland metropolitan region. Many schools were closed and authorities reported crashes from slick roads. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)
Snow and tiny icicles sit on red viburnum berries Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019, in Lake Oswego, Ore., after a winter storm overnight brought light snow and icy conditions to the Portland, Ore., metropolitan region. Many schools were closed and authorities reported crashes from slick roads. (AP Photo/Gillian Flaccus)
Snow and tiny icicles sit on red viburnum berries Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019, in Lake Oswego, Ore., after a winter storm overnight brought light snow and icy conditions to the Portland, Ore., metropolitan region. Many schools were closed and authorities reported crashes from slick roads. (AP Photo/Gillian Flaccus)
This photo provided by the Mammoth Mountain ski area shows a man digging snow next to a vehicle during a winter storm in Mammoth Mountain, Calif., Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019. Snow, ice and shivering cold blasted normally mild cities from Seattle to Las Vegas to San Francisco on Tuesday as the winter weather sweeping across the U.S. West shuttered schools, made travel treacherous and closed all roads in Yosemite National Park. (Peter Morning/Mammoth Mountain ski area via AP)
This photo provided by the Mammoth Mountain ski area shows a man digging snow next to a vehicle during a winter storm in Mammoth Mountain, Calif., Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019. Snow, ice and shivering cold blasted normally mild cities from Seattle to Las Vegas to San Francisco on Tuesday as the winter weather sweeping across the U.S. West shuttered schools, made travel treacherous and closed all roads in Yosemite National Park. (Peter Morning/Mammoth Mountain ski area via AP)
A child climbs the partially snow-covered sides of the International Fountain, shut to a dribble in near-freezing weather, Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019, at the Seattle Center in Seattle. Winter weather closed schools and disrupted travel across much of the West, with ice and snow stretching from Seattle to Arizona. The Pacific Northwest shivered Tuesday under colder-than-normal conditions as snow and treacherous conditions led to another day of school closures. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
A child climbs the partially snow-covered sides of the International Fountain, shut to a dribble in near-freezing weather, Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019, at the Seattle Center in Seattle. Winter weather closed schools and disrupted travel across much of the West, with ice and snow stretching from Seattle to Arizona. The Pacific Northwest shivered Tuesday under colder-than-normal conditions as snow and treacherous conditions led to another day of school closures. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
A snow sculpture is dressed as the fish mongers working behind as people walk into the Pike Place Market in near-freezing weather Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019, in Seattle. Winter weather closed schools and disrupted travel across much of the West, with ice and snow stretching from Seattle to Arizona. The Pacific Northwest shivered Tuesday under colder-than-normal conditions as snow and treacherous conditions led to another day of school closures. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
A snow sculpture is dressed as the fish mongers working behind as people walk into the Pike Place Market in near-freezing weather Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019, in Seattle. Winter weather closed schools and disrupted travel across much of the West, with ice and snow stretching from Seattle to Arizona. The Pacific Northwest shivered Tuesday under colder-than-normal conditions as snow and treacherous conditions led to another day of school closures. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
This Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019, photo provided by the National Park Service shows snow in Yosemite National Park, Calif. A storm has dumped heavy rain and snow at Yosemite National Park, closing all roads, toppling trees and triggering a rockslide. Officials at the popular Northern California park urged visitors to stay indoors Tuesday. (National Park Service via AP)
This Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019, photo provided by the National Park Service shows snow in Yosemite National Park, Calif. A storm has dumped heavy rain and snow at Yosemite National Park, closing all roads, toppling trees and triggering a rockslide. Officials at the popular Northern California park urged visitors to stay indoors Tuesday. (National Park Service via AP)
Snow covers the top of Big Rock Ridge in San Rafael, Calif., Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019. Winter storms have been hitting the West for several days and brought a surprise dusting to peaks overlooking San Francisco — the city's first notable snow in eight years. (Alan Dep/Marin Independent Journal via AP)
Snow covers the top of Big Rock Ridge in San Rafael, Calif., Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019. Winter storms have been hitting the West for several days and brought a surprise dusting to peaks overlooking San Francisco — the city's first notable snow in eight years. (Alan Dep/Marin Independent Journal via AP)
Orion Springer Lich sleds down Bolinas Ridge Road on cardboard after a light dusting of snow on Mount Tamalpais State Park, Calif., Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019. Winter storms have been hitting the West for several days and brought a surprise dusting to peaks overlooking San Francisco — the city's first notable snow in eight years. (James Cacciatore/Marin Independent Journal via AP)
Orion Springer Lich sleds down Bolinas Ridge Road on cardboard after a light dusting of snow on Mount Tamalpais State Park, Calif., Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019. Winter storms have been hitting the West for several days and brought a surprise dusting to peaks overlooking San Francisco — the city's first notable snow in eight years. (James Cacciatore/Marin Independent Journal via AP)
This photo provided by the Mammoth Mountain ski area shows workers walking through snow during a winter storm in Mammoth Mountain, Calif., Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019. Snow, ice and shivering cold blasted normally mild cities from Seattle to Las Vegas to San Francisco on Tuesday as the winter weather sweeping across the U.S. West shuttered schools, made travel treacherous and closed all roads in Yosemite National Park. (Peter Morning/Mammoth Mountain ski area via AP)
This photo provided by the Mammoth Mountain ski area shows workers walking through snow during a winter storm in Mammoth Mountain, Calif., Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019. Snow, ice and shivering cold blasted normally mild cities from Seattle to Las Vegas to San Francisco on Tuesday as the winter weather sweeping across the U.S. West shuttered schools, made travel treacherous and closed all roads in Yosemite National Park. (Peter Morning/Mammoth Mountain ski area via AP)
A car belonging to a state agency drives over a light coating of snow on the otherwise closed Alaskan Way viaduct in near-freezing weather Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019, in Seattle. The highway closed several weeks earlier, replaced with a two-mile tunnel running under downtown Seattle and which opened a day earlier. Winter weather closed schools and disrupted travel across much of the West, with ice and snow stretching from Seattle to Arizona. The Pacific Northwest shivered Tuesday under colder-than-normal conditions as snow and treacherous conditions led to another day of school closures. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
A car belonging to a state agency drives over a light coating of snow on the otherwise closed Alaskan Way viaduct in near-freezing weather Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019, in Seattle. The highway closed several weeks earlier, replaced with a two-mile tunnel running under downtown Seattle and which opened a day earlier. Winter weather closed schools and disrupted travel across much of the West, with ice and snow stretching from Seattle to Arizona. The Pacific Northwest shivered Tuesday under colder-than-normal conditions as snow and treacherous conditions led to another day of school closures. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Pedestrians brave the sub-zero temperatures in downtown Helena, Montana, on Tuesday, February 5, 2019. Winter weather closed schools and disrupted travel across much of the U.S. West, with ice and snow stretching from Seattle to Arizona. (AP Photo/Matt Volz)
Pedestrians brave the sub-zero temperatures in downtown Helena, Montana, on Tuesday, February 5, 2019. Winter weather closed schools and disrupted travel across much of the U.S. West, with ice and snow stretching from Seattle to Arizona. (AP Photo/Matt Volz)
An Alaska Airlines plane takes off above arriving flights waiting for gate assignments, Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019, at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in Seattle. There were still some delays at the airport the day after winter weather pounded a swath of the U.S. West on Monday, closing schools and delaying flights in coastal cities like Seattle that rarely get much snow. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
An Alaska Airlines plane takes off above arriving flights waiting for gate assignments, Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019, at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in Seattle. There were still some delays at the airport the day after winter weather pounded a swath of the U.S. West on Monday, closing schools and delaying flights in coastal cities like Seattle that rarely get much snow. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)