Residents in parts of Southern California who have not seen snow in decades woke up to an icy wonderland Sunday morning following an epic winter storm that broke rainfall records and scattered fresh powder across the normally warm, sunny region.
According to MSN, The storm, which originated in the Gulf of Alaska, tapped into an atmospheric river system — a powerful plume of moisture that can deliver large amounts of precipitation. It has moved out of the region, giving Southern Californians a short reprieve from the wet weather.
But don’t put away those umbrellas just yet. More rain and snow is on the way beginning late Sunday. The frigid conditions dropped snow levels to 1,000 feet in some areas Saturday, enough for snowball fights, snowman building and the unusual sight of foothills glistening with sparkling powder. Mountain communities were slammed by intense snowfall, with Mountain High clocking an impressive 93 inches of snow.
Those who say California doesn’t have seasons should think again, said Rich Thompson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Oxnard. “This is definitely much more than your run-of-the-mill Southern California winter storm,” he said. “I think this kind of proves the point that, yes, we do get weather out here. It may not happen as much as other parts of the country, but we do get some really active weather out here at times.”
For communities that didn’t see snow, rain was plentiful. More than 10 inches fell in Woodland Hills, while Bel-Air received 6.76 inches of rain. Downtown Los Angeles saw 4.49 inches — a little more than 2 inches each on Friday and Saturday. It was only the sixth time since 1877 that downtown received that much rain in two consecutive days, according to the National Weather Service.
There were reports of flurries at the Hollywood sign and snow falling in places like Glendale and Santa Clarita. Some families traveled to snow-covered areas for a day of fun. The storm is “going to be very memorable” for people in Southern California, Thompson said.
Vandi Mahoney, 25, drove from her Inglewood home to Kenneth Hahn State Recreational Park Sunday morning to catch a glimpse of the snow-covered Los Angeles Mountains. She had been watching videos of the winter storm dumping heavy rain and snow on Southern California. When she arrived, mountain after mountain was covered entirely in white under a sunny blue sky and puffy clouds.
“I thought: oh my God, this beautiful,” she said. “Usually you can see far away a little hint of snow but this is, wow. It’s not the scenery of the snow itself but just the beauty of Los Angeles: the clouds, the sky, the sun and on top of that we got this nonsense going on, too. This is why I love LA.”
Gloria Okoh drove from Carson with her children for a morning walk at the park to celebrate her 68th birthday. As the landscape came into view they stopped to gaze at the snow-capped mountains.