Snow storm creates Sierra avalanche threat

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TRUCKEE (AP) - Officials are issuing avalanche warnings as the biggest California storm of a dry winter season continues to hammer the northern Sierra.

The Sierra Avalanche Center advisory says high winds, intense snowfall and a weak snowpack combined to create dangerous conditions Wednesday. It recommends that skiers stay out of avalanche terrain.

The storm has dropped visibility to a quarter-mile on Interstate 80, forcing Caltrans to issue chain requirements from Colfax to 11 miles east of the Nevada state line.

The trucking corridor was closed Wednesday morning to all double tractor-trailer combinations from Placer County to the Nevada line because of traction problems.

The forecast calls for up to 5 feet of snowfall through Thursday afternoon.