Blizzards bring 6 feet of snow to parts of California

California storm warnings and weather advisories remained in effect Sunday for a substantial portion of the state, as northern and central counties braced for another round of heavy rain and snow in and around the sprawling Sierra Nevada mountain range.

Meanwhile, forecasts indicated milder conditions ahead for Southern California, after the region faced blizzards and dangerous flooding earlier this weekend during a powerful winter storm that the National Weather Service called one of the strongest to ever hit the area. The storm, which knocked out electricity and trapped motorists in their cars as snow blanketed roadways, had dumped more than 5 inches of rain on inland valley areas and brought over 6 feet of snow to parts of the San Gabriel mountains by Sunday morning, according to NWS San Diego.

The first of two upcoming winter storm systems arrived in Northern California before dawn on Sunday.

"Two strong winter storms will bring significant impacts to interior Northern California through early Wed," NWS Sacramento warned in a tweet shared early on Sunday morning. "The first storm will bring moderate to heavy snow today with 1-2 feet above 2000-3000 feet. Travel is HIGHLY DISCOURAGED!"

In a separate message posted at around 6 a.m. PT, the agency said precipitation had begun to spread while moving inland over Northern California. "Travel conditions will deteriorate over the mountains this morning," wrote NWS Sacramento.

The National Weather Service has issued numerous bulletins impacting dozens of California counties, which either took effect very early Sunday morning or will take effect later in the afternoon. In anticipation of ongoing blizzards that could bring up to 20 inches of snow to communities at higher elevations, as well as wind gusts potentially reaching 75 mph, some of the agency's storm and blizzard warnings are scheduled to remain active through Wednesday afternoon.

A winter storm warning is also in effect for much of the Sierra Nevada through Monday morning, when a blizzard warning is due to replace it and remain active through mid-week. Heavy snow is expected across the mountain range, according to the National Weather Service, which said storm conditions could bring between 6 and 20 inches of snow, plus 60 mph wind gusts, to the region on Sunday and Monday. When blizzard conditions hit, snowfall could total between 2 and 6 feet, the agency said, while wind gusts are expected to become even stronger.

"Travel could be very difficult to impossible," the NWS said. "Blowing snow will cause white-out conditions at times. Downed trees and tree limbs with power outages are possible due to heavy snow and gusty winds. The cold wind chills as low as 30 below zero could cause frostbite on exposed skin in as little as 30 minutes."

More than 63,000 California utility customers did not have power as of Sunday morning, according to the tracking site Counties northeast of Sacramento and in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains were most affected, the tracker showed, with over 55,000 customers experiencing outages in Northern California's Lake County alone.

As last week's storm barreled down the West Coast between Wednesday and Saturday, severe weather brought perilous wind gusts that toppled trees and knocked out power lines across California, leaving thousands without electricity and prompting officials to issue the first blizzard warning in decades for Southern California. In Boulder Creek, located in the Santa Cruz mountains south of San Francisco, a 1-year-old child was critically injured after a redwood tree fell on top of a home last Tuesday evening, KTVU reported.

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