KIRKWOOD, Calif. (KTXL) — Kirkwood Mountain Resort shut down its ski mountain Sunday morning due to high and increasing winds, according to statements posted on the resort’s website and social media channels.
The National Weather Service in Reno announced at 8:25 a.m. that the Kirkwood area was experiencing potentially record-breaking wind speeds.
Kirkwood now gusting 209 MPH! This could potentially be a new California state record wind speed if verified! https://t.co/WeWzntYjLt
— NWS Reno (@NWSReno) February 9, 2020
The National Weather Service in Sacramento released a statement at 3:49 p.m. calling into question NWS Reno’s initial wind speed report of 209 mph, referencing multiple errors at the station, including 92% “relative humidity during strong winds.”
After further review the 209 mph wind gust reported at Kirkwood seems questionable. The station seems to have multiple errors including 92 percent relative humidity during the strong winds. Also the wind seems to have been unusually strong the past few days at this station #cawx
— NWS Sacramento (@NWSSacramento) February 9, 2020
Just an hour after the NWS Reno’s announcement was made, the resort’s Twitter sent out a tweet tagging the California Department of Transportation District 10’s account with resort closure information, warning of downed trees in the area.
9:43 | LIFT UPDATE: All Chairs are now CLOSED for the day due to high and increasing winds. Kirkwood is now CLOSED for the day.
Rd Conds: @CaltransDist10 or 800-427-7623. Please watch for downed trees on the roads.
— Kirkwood Conditions (@KWconditions) February 9, 2020
Just before 11 a.m., the resort released the following information on their Instagram account, via their stories section:
MOUNTAIN CLOSED FOR THE DAY
DUE TO STRONG AND INCREASING WINDS ACROSS THE MOUNTAIN (GUSTS AS HIGH AS 209 MPH) KIRKWOOD WILL BE CLOSING THE DAY TO ENSURE GUEST AND EMPLOYEE SAFETY. DINING LOCATIONS WILL REMAIN OPEN FOR GUESTS AND STAFF STAYING IN THE VALLEY.
FOX40 reached out to Kirkwood Ski Resort officials on whether the closure will continue into the week and they responded with the following statement:
Kirkwood is closed today due to strong and increasing winds in order to ensure guest and employee safety. As you may have seen, these wind conditions aren’t exclusive to Kirkwood. As always, our mountain operations team will evaluate conditions tomorrow morning to make a determination to open. Guests can find the most up to date information via Twitter @KWConditions.
Kirkwood Ski Resort was not the only resort affected by Sunday’s weather.
Extremely high winds also shutdown resort operations at Sierra-at-Tahoe for the day.
8:20AM UPDATE: Sierra is CLOSED for the day due to extremely high winds from top to bottom. Winds are forecasted to increase throughout the day. Guest safety is always our top priority and we will update snow total at the end of the day to see what today's storm will bring. pic.twitter.com/FSLyf5GDKF
— Sierra-at-Tahoe (@Sierra_at_Tahoe) February 9, 2020
Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows reported 100 mph winds at 8:57 a.m. on the resort’s Twitter account, which caused many lifts to be put on hold.
— Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows (@squawalpine) February 9, 2020
This story is developing. Please check back with FOX40 for updates.