Winter storm brings snow to Sierras and rain to the Valley

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- As a long overdue winter storm rolled into the Valley, it is unlikely anyone felt more anticipation than China Peak's Nick Cohee.

"It's been the most challenging season anyone has seen in California. Snowpack is well below normal, possibly the worst anybody has ever seen," said Cohee.

An unusually warm and dry January has paralyzed business at the ski resort. The upper mountain has been closed all season.

Last week, snow finally showed signs of returning and Cohee is hoping this week's wet and cold weather will produce the levels he needs.

"We are currently receiving snowfall right now, we are making snow right now, and are expecting to be open Friday or Saturday," said Cohee.

In Sacramento, roads were also blanketed in layers of white. But it is not snow--rather a hailstorm that pummeled the State Capitol.

Firefighters had to ask drivers to avoid some roads after vehicles became stuck in deep ice.

Down in Fresno, people were far less than enthusiastic. The weather was little more than a nuisance. Families, wet and cold, shuffled around the Tower District trying to stay dry.

"I'm cold I thought it was going to stop because earlier it sprinkled and then it stopped. I thought that's what it would do, but it doesn't look like it's going to stop," said Rajanik Cardenas.

Forecasts indicate it likely will not stop until late next week.

Those depending on the snow are hoping this is the turning point to lay the foundation they need.
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