High winds whipped the Sierra on Sunday as an atmospheric river bringing rain and snow moved through Northern California.
The most impressive gusts blew at 173 mph on a Squaw Valley summit and 175 mph atop a peak in Alpine Meadows.
These bursts were far stronger than the 110 mph winds that were forecast to be the record-breakers for the day.
Snow drifts piled as high as "Walk/Don't Walk" signs on street intersections: 10' feet in the air!
What's more, the winds would have qualified as tornado had they been cyclonic and sustained.
Many Tahoe ski resorts operated a limited number of lifts or closed entirely on Sunday, including Northstar, Sierra at Tahoe, Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows.
In Colorado, sustained winds of 40-50 MPH were occurring, with gusts hitting in excess of 100 MPH, taking out trees, knocking down power lines, and blowing sand and gravel so fiercely, persons needed protective clothing just to walk outside.
Some people were knocked over and dragged along the ground by the winds!
On Interstate 25 (I-25) so many trucks have been blown over that authorities have had to close the road. No effort can be made to right the trucks or remove them as long as the winds continue blowing as fiercely as they are.