Rare snowstorm blankets Southern California: ‘Cold and unsettled’

An exceptional snowstorm struck Los Angeles and Southern California over the weekend, delivering a dusting of the white stuff for the third time in the 21st century, according to local records.

Snow fell even in low-lying areas, though it melted rather quickly and sent a raging current through the usually dormant Los Angeles River.

“Quite a remarkable storm the last few days with historic amounts of precip and snow down to elevations that rarely see snow,” the National Weather Service said.

In a surprise for February, New York City saw Los Angeles-like weather on Sunday, with temperatures reaching as high as 50 degrees under mostly sunny skies before dropping into the 30s overnight. However, the five boroughs could see snow as early as Monday afternoon, according to the National Weather Service.

The Los Angeles Fire Department rescued four homeless people Saturday from a flood control area in the Los Angeles River. Two were hospitalized with hypothermia, according to emergency responders.

Interstate 5, the major north-south route through California, was closed early Sunday due to ice but reopened to traffic in the afternoon.

Before this weekend, snow had only fallen in the city twice in the 21st century, in 2019 and 2007, according to the Los Angeles Times.

“It’s something we’ve never really experienced,” Los Angeles resident Edgar Corona told the L.A. Times on Saturday as his kids played in the snow. “I brought them here, it’s been pretty great.”

The snow moved out of Southern California on Sunday, but a second storm was expected to dump rain — also unusual in the region — beginning Monday.

The National Weather Service predicted “cold and unsettled weather into the middle of next week.”

Rainfall records were set at several Southern California locations on Friday, according to the L.A. Times: 2.04 inches at Los Angeles International Airport, 2.61 inches in Santa Maria and 2.04 inches in Oxnard.

The low-pressure system continued east across northern Arizona, where high-elevation areas received a small coating of snow. A blizzard warning beginning at 10 a.m. Monday was issued for the Sierra Nevada mountains.

With News Wire Services