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Return of winter weather brings rain, snow to California

March 4, 2022 GMT
In this photo provided by Caltrans, a crew places explosives into a large boulder that fell onto U.S. Highway 50 near South Lake Tahoe, Calif., Friday, March 4, 2022. The return of winter weather prompted forecasters to advise people planning mountain travel to be prepared for snowy roads Friday and Saturday. Travel through the Sierra was disrupted by the massive boulder that fell onto the highway at Echo Summit on Thursday. (Caltrans via AP)
In this photo provided by Caltrans, a crew places explosives into a large boulder that fell onto U.S. Highway 50 near South Lake Tahoe, Calif., Friday, March 4, 2022. The return of winter weather prompted forecasters to advise people planning mountain travel to be prepared for snowy roads Friday and Saturday. Travel through the Sierra was disrupted by the massive boulder that fell onto the highway at Echo Summit on Thursday. (Caltrans via AP)
In this photo provided by Caltrans, a crew places explosives into a large boulder that fell onto U.S. Highway 50 near South Lake Tahoe, Calif., Friday, March 4, 2022. The return of winter weather prompted forecasters to advise people planning mountain travel to be prepared for snowy roads Friday and Saturday. Travel through the Sierra was disrupted by the massive boulder that fell onto the highway at Echo Summit on Thursday. (Caltrans via AP)
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In this photo provided by Caltrans, a crew places explosives into a large boulder that fell onto U.S. Highway 50 near South Lake Tahoe, Calif., Friday, March 4, 2022. The return of winter weather prompted forecasters to advise people planning mountain travel to be prepared for snowy roads Friday and Saturday. Travel through the Sierra was disrupted by the massive boulder that fell onto the highway at Echo Summit on Thursday. (Caltrans via AP)
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In this photo provided by Caltrans, a crew places explosives into a large boulder that fell onto U.S. Highway 50 near South Lake Tahoe, Calif., Friday, March 4, 2022. The return of winter weather prompted forecasters to advise people planning mountain travel to be prepared for snowy roads Friday and Saturday. Travel through the Sierra was disrupted by the massive boulder that fell onto the highway at Echo Summit on Thursday. (Caltrans via AP)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — California ended the first week of March with scattered showers, downpours and snow after very dry weather in January and February that left the Sierra Nevada snowpack far below normal, renewing calls for water conservation.

The late-season return of winter weather prompted forecasters to advise people planning mountain travel to be prepared for snowy roads Friday and Saturday in the Sierra Nevada, the Cascades and ranges north and east of Los Angeles.

Travel through the Sierra was already disrupted by a massive boulder that fell onto U.S. Highway 50 at Echo Summit on Thursday. California Department of Transportation crews blew up the rock Friday.

Interstate 5 remained open in Tejon Pass north of Los Angeles because snow didn’t stick on the roadway. To east, snow coated a nest as a webcam watched bald eagles warming a newly hatched chick and incubating a second egg at Big Bear Lake.

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Gusty winds were expected around San Francisco and Monterey bays and in inland areas of Southern California.

Offshore gale warnings and small craft advisories were issued along with high surf advisories for much of the central and south coasts.

The National Weather Service said widespread subfreezing temperatures were possible along the far north coast Saturday night and Sunday morning.