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  • 1440 Daily Digest

Western White-Out

A major blizzard shut down much of California's Sierra Nevada over the weekend as nearly 200 mph winds and snow up to 12 feet deep blocked roads, shuttered ski resorts, and knocked out power for thousands. Early readings suggest the precipitation could mark one of the region's 10 snowiest days since the 1970s.

Key highways to mountain towns in Tahoe and Mammoth were closed in both directions into Sunday amid the heavy snowfall (see current snow depth). The quick accumulation of snowpack combined with strong winds led to avalanche warnings in the region's backcountry through Sunday. Blizzard warnings for the region are relatively infrequent, with one issued roughly once every other year. A smaller storm is forecast to bring more snow through Wednesday. See photos here and videos here

Meanwhile, Texas' Smokehouse Creek wildfire—the second-largest in US history—is only 15% contained amid worsening dry, windy conditions. 

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