LA QUINTA, Calif. – From the inland deserts to the mountains of Los Angeles County and north to the Sierra Nevada mountains, California is experiencing freak winter weather as a massive storm sweeps through the West Coast on Friday.
People in Southern California could see snow creeping from the mountains to the valley floor Friday morning.
“This is probably the strangest winter we’ve ever had,” said Mindy Kelly, who is from Oregon but has been wintering in Palm Springs for 25 years. “The wind gusts we experienced were probably very strong. I don’t remember us feeling as cold and windy as one here.”
A low temperature is set Reaches 40 degrees weekend in the area. Meanwhile, 3 million Californians woke up Friday morning to a winter storm warning that first rolled over the Golden State the day before, leaving more than 150,000 customers without power.
“The strangest thing about this storm is that you can see almost anything,” Fox meteorologist Amy Freese told USA Today. “We’ve talked about blizzard warnings, we’ve talked about flash flooding, but this morning we could have severe thunderstorms.”
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Some mountains near Los Angeles could get up to 5 feet of snow, with winds gusting to 75 mph, creating whiteout conditions. Conditions raise avalanche danger, according to forecasters.
First published by the Weather Service in San Diego Blizzard warning through Saturday for mountain areas including Big Bear, Lake Arrowhead and Wrightwood. The weather service in Los Angeles issued its own report Blizzard warning to the hills of Los Angeles and Ventura counties.
Heavy snow isn’t the only concern in California. According to the weather service, southern coastal areas may face threats of heavy rains and flooding.
Meanwhile, in the Northeast, mixed rainfall was in the forecast as another winter storm moved out of the region.
Here’s what you need to know about Friday’s weather:
Landslides close Grape Highway near Santa Clarita; Parts of I-80 were closed
Parts of Interstate 5 near Santa Clarita, known as Grapevine, were closed Friday morning due to mudslides. State Transport Department said. Running northwest of LA, the highway is a major route connecting the northern and southern parts of the state.
Some areas of the vineyard were also closed on Thursday night due to heavy snow, the department said said on Facebook.
Northeast of LA, portions of State Route 2 at Angels Crest Freeway were closed Friday morning. The department said on Twitter.
In Northern California, Roads on Interstate 80 were closed due to poor visibilityA major east-west corridor connecting San Francisco, Sacramento, and Reno, Nevada.
Truckers trying to travel on portions of I-80 that were open Friday were checked to make sure their tires were equipped with the correct chains. State Transport Department said.
Ventura County Prepares for Flooding
Evacuation warnings were in place for Ventura County through Saturday morning Areas considered unstable After being hit hard by storms last month that killed more than a dozen people.
Mountain areas in Ventura County received 3 inches of rain as of Friday morning, and crews were monitoring areas for flooded roads.
“We’re looking hour by hour,” Dave Fleisch, the county’s assistant public works director, told the Ventura Country Star, part of the USA TODAY Network.
People lined the roads with sandbags on Friday morning as people in the district expected heavy rain to fall between 3pm and 7pm local time on Friday.
5 feet of snow is expected in Big Bear
The winter storm could dump up to 5 feet of snow in the Big Bear area northeast of Los Angeles for about two hours, senior meteorologist Bob Larson said. AccuWeather.
Sustained winds are expected to reach 25 to 35 mph, with gusts of 50 to 60 mph possible, making travel “very difficult and impossible,” the weather service said.
“Don’t take this storm for granted!” The city of Big Bear Lake said in a tweet. “Stay home. Stay warm. Stay safe.”
Snow hits the Hollywood sign in LA
There was a A faint trace of snow and ice accumulations According to Fox Weather meteorologist Freeze, LA Friday in the hills surrounding the famous Hollywood sign.
“It’s almost, you think, special effects, right?” Freeze said. “We’re in the middle of a movie and someone is making snow on the Hollywood sign. But this is real life.”
Near the San Gabriel Mountains, Mount Wilson — lower in elevation than the Hollywood sign — is expected. More than an inch of snow will accumulate Late Friday night.
In higher elevations of the county and Ventura County to the north, winds could reach 80 mph, 2 to 5 feet of snow above 4,000 feet and 8 feet of snow in areas including Los Angeles County’s highest peak, Mount Baldy. and is a popular destination for hikers, skiers and hikers.
Mount Baldy Resort closed its slopes, saying on Twitter that it was “going bananas Friday night.”
“Wait, it’s probably going to be different,” said the resort.
The area is expecting significant amounts of rain at low elevations, with a flood watch in effect Friday morning through Saturday afternoon.
Larson said 2 to 4 inches of rain could fall in the greater Los Angeles area, while a flood watch issued by the National Weather Service warned of rain rates of up to an inch per hour, especially in foothills and low-lying areas.
California winter storm map
National Weather Radar
Contributed by: Cheri Carlson, Ventura County Star; Associated Press