Heavy snowfall in the Sierra prompts avalanche warnings at local ski resorts

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KGO) -- As another atmospheric river targets the West Coast drenching the Bay Area, the Sierra sets record-level snowfall accumulation.

This is a cause for celebration for skiers but this particular storm isn't bringing with it the low temperatures of previous storms that made for good - and most importantly - safe ski conditions.



TIMELINE: Atmospheric River making its way across Bay Area

The Sierra Avalanche Center, a non-profit avalanche monitoring website which monitors avalanches in the Sierra, tweeted an avalanche warning level of 4 on a scale from 1-5 early Tuesday morning.



The cause for concern is the wet snow that will fall typically associated with temperatures in the mid to low 30s.

Ski resorts are on alert.

On Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows' website a red warning banner displays at the top.

"Wet heavy snowfall increases the avalanche danger that's out there," says Alex Spychalsky, PR Coordinator for the popular resort.

The resort also posted tweets signaling concern.





To make sure skiers are safe, patrols are out every morning who have, "decades of experience...and travel in dangerous terrain but they do that in a way that is the safest way possible," she added.

Stephanie Myers, Communications Manager at Heavenly Mountain said crews there are continuously on watch. "We actively evaluate mountain conditions throughout the day, every day that we operate, and perform proactive avalanche mitigation work as necessary."

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But, whether you chose to ski or not over the next few days the snow is ultimately a good thing ABC 7 Meteorologist Drew Tuma, reminds us.

"The heavy snow pack not only benefits winter weather lovers now, it's important for our water supply later on in the summer."

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