LOS ANGELES – A rare winter storm battered Southern California on Friday as the state expected more snowy weather, torrential rains and record-low temperatures into the weekend.
The storm, which caused record lows in Northern California, was gaining strength as it moved down the Pacific Coast toward Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Times reported. It is taking aim at the coastal mountain ranges between Santa Barbara and San Diego counties, according to The Washington Post.
“This is going to be one of the strongest winter storms we’ve seen impact Southern California in years,” Brian Adams, a forecaster for the National Weather service, told The Orange County Register. “Even with all the crazy weather we’ve seen going on so far, it’s about to get crazier.”
The National Weather Service said a rare blizzard warning was in effect for the mountainous areas in Los Angeles, Ventura and San Bernardino counties. There was also a flash-flood warning for the valleys and foothills of Los Angeles and Ventura counties.
“The peak of the storm hasn’t even occurred,” National Weather Service Meteorologist Ryan Kittell told the Register on Friday. “It’s already raining pretty good and the heaviest will be in the 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. window.”
Blizzard warnings will continue through Saturday afternoon, CNN reported. The National Weather Service’s Los Angeles office had not issued a blizzard warning since 1989.
Temperatures in San Francisco plummeted to 39 degrees on Friday morning, a record low for Feb.. 24 in the city, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. The previous mark was 40 degrees, set in 1891, National Weather Service meteorologist Jeff Lorber told the newspaper.
On Thursday, San Francisco saw a record daily maximum temperature of 49 degrees, which broke the mark of 50 degrees set in 1890 and equaled in 1969, the Chronicle reported.
By the time the current storm leaves Southern California, residents at 4,500-foot elevations and above could see snowfall totals as much as 5 feet, the Times reported. Some areas could even see up to 8 feet of snow, according to the newspaper.
At lower elevations, rain will be a bigger problem, with between 2 to 5 inches expected along the coast and in the valleys. Kittell said some areas in the foothills could receive up to 10 inches of rain.
“It’s really like two separate events,” Kittell told the Times. “If you’re in the mountains, it’s a huge snowstorm. If you’re in the coastal, valley areas, it’s a huge rainstorm.”
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