Snow fell in the Sierra Nevada on the last day of summer, giving the towering mountain range shared by California and Nevada a wintry look in September.
Snow dusted peaks in Yosemite National Park on Thursday and temporarily closed Tioga Pass road, the soaring eastern entry to the park that typically doesn't become impassable until mid-November.
First snow of the season! The Tioga and Glacier Point Roads are temporarily closed. Call 209-372-0200 (1,1) for current park road conditions pic.twitter.com/CxFOjVCYgi— Yosemite National Pk (@YosemiteNPS) September 21, 2017
Several inches of snow were expected at elevations of at least 6,000 feet in the northern Sierra, said National Weather Service forecaster Hanna Chandler in Sacramento.
"The last days of summer," the Placer County Sheriff's Office wryly tweeted in a post showing snow falling on patrol vehicles at its Lake Tahoe station.
Sugar Bowl, a ski resort perched atop Donner Summit, received a good snow dusting that's getting skiers excited about the upcoming ski season, said resort spokesman Jon Slaughter.
"We've got people calling about season passes and checking our webcams to take a look at the first snow," Slaughter said.
Slaughter, however, didn't anticipate the storm having much of an impact on how early the resort can open because the snow will likely melt.
Squaq Valley also tweeted a video of snow blanketing tables and benches at the ski resort. The Northstar California Resort offered a similar sight as well as employees covered in snow.
Some September Sierra Snow Day views by @StephanieAMyers from @Northstar_CA Such a welcome sight after a record Summer #CAwx #NVwx #Sierra pic.twitter.com/LyWbnDG6pf— Rob Mayeda (@RobMayeda) September 21, 2017
But the first snow of the season came just four months after Sugar Bowl's last ski season ended with nearly 800 inches of snowfall, part of a very wet winter that gave California at least a temporary respite from years of drought that left the Sierra with scant snowcaps.
The taste of winter was not expected to last long.
"Fall is a big transition period so we have these big dips in temperature and then we go higher," said Chandler, the forecaster. "It's kind of a weather rollercoaster."