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CAPE FEAR MEMORIAL BRIDGE: Updates, resources, and context

California and the Northeast are hit with major winter storms

A person drives along a snowy roadway in Los Angeles County, in the Sierra Pelona Mountains, on Saturday near Green Valley, Calif. A major storm delivered heavy snowfall to the mountains with some snow reaching lower elevations in Los Angeles County. More is expected on Tuesday into Wednesday.
Mario Tama
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Getty Images
A person drives along a snowy roadway in Los Angeles County, in the Sierra Pelona Mountains, on Saturday near Green Valley, Calif. A major storm delivered heavy snowfall to the mountains with some snow reaching lower elevations in Los Angeles County. More is expected on Tuesday into Wednesday.

Already walloped by an unusually snowy storm last week, California is now facing even more wintry precipitation.

Several feet of snow fell in parts of Southern California starting Thursday and continued through the weekend, particularly in more mountainous regions.

The Mountain High Ski Resort, located in the San Gabriel mountains about an 80-mile drive northeast of Los Angeles, recorded 93 inches of snow. Other high-elevation areas saw more than 5 feet of heavy snow and are still digging out.

Satellite images from NASA's Earth Observatory showed the vast blankets of snow that fell in parts of Southern California, LAist reported.

People stand in the parking area of the Alpine Base Area at Palisades Tahoe during a winter storm on Friday in Alpine Meadows, Calif.
John Locher / AP
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AP
People stand in the parking area of the Alpine Base Area at Palisades Tahoe during a winter storm on Friday in Alpine Meadows, Calif.

But the atypical snowfall isn't over yet.

Another storm that began on Monday was predicted to drop even more snow on California, the worst of it coming Tuesday night into Wednesday. But it wasn't expected to be as strong as the weekend's weather, the National Weather Service in San Diego said.

Snowfall and strong winds were forecast for San Bernardino, Riverside and San Diego counties. The NWS San Diego office even predicted a brief atmospheric river with heavy precipitation.

Though such storms can help ease California's drought, that doesn't mean the drought is over.

Storm clouds and snow over the San Gabriel mountain range are seen behind the Hollywood sign in Los Angeles on Sunday.
Richard Vogel / AP
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AP
Storm clouds and snow over the San Gabriel mountain range are seen behind the Hollywood sign in Los Angeles on Sunday.

Jeanine Jones, the interstate resources manager at California's Department of Water Resources, said in a statement to NPR that although the department typically waits until later in the season to assess the water supply, the recent weather appears to have been beneficial.

"The precipitation California has received in recent days combined with the nine atmospheric rivers in early January has helped ease drought impacts in parts of California," she said.

But Jones added that depleted groundwater resources are slower to recover, and rural areas that rely on groundwater are still struggling.

"It will take more than a single wet year for groundwater levels to substantially improve at a statewide scale."

According to the website PowerOutage.us, more than 69,000 electricity customers in California had no power as of late Tuesday morning PT.

Winter weather alerts were in effect along the East Coast

People visit Times Square during a snowfall on Monday in New York City.
Leonardo Munoz / AFP via Getty Images
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AFP via Getty Images
People visit Times Square during a snowfall on Monday in New York City.

Meanwhile, a widespread snowstorm arrived in the Northeast. Winter weather alerts were in effect in at least seven states along the East Coast, from Maine to New Jersey.

The NWS office in Gray, Maine, was predicting as much as a foot of snow in parts of New Hampshire and as much as 8 inches in parts of Maine.

Snow falls as people walk across the Brooklyn Bridge on Monday in New York City.
Spencer Platt / Getty Images
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Getty Images
Snow falls as people walk across the Brooklyn Bridge on Monday in New York City.

By Tuesday morning, parts of Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island had already seen more than six inches of snow, while the Boston area received roughly a third of that or less.

The New York City metro area also fell in the storm's path but saw lower snowfall totals. Central Park got 1.8 inches of snow. Meteorologists said late Tuesday morning that precipitation in the metro area was starting to transition from frozen to liquid.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Joe Hernandez