California Pummeled by Rain, Snow, Frigid Temps

Meanwhile, Michigan is hit by its own winter woes
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 25, 2023 8:30 AM CST
California Pummeled by Rain, Snow, Frigid Temps
In this photo, snow falls in Redding, California, on Friday.   (Hung T. Vu via AP)

A powerful winter storm lashing California threatened floods, blizzards, and avalanches Saturday while adding frigid temperatures to the misery mix. Overnight lows could drop below freezing in some areas, while downtown San Francisco could see record-breaking cold temperatures Saturday morning, according to the National Weather Service. Projected temperatures of 38 degrees Fahrenheit would see the city at its coldest since 2009, the weather service said. Flash flood warnings were issued from Friday through 1am or 2am Saturday in Los Angeles and Ventura counties, a region with some 6 million people, per the AP. The weather service said flash flooding was occurring late Friday in Ventura County, where up to 7 inches of rain had fallen, and up to 10 inches were possible before the storm turned showery on Saturday afternoon.

In Los Angeles County, forecasters said life-threatening flash flooding was possible near creeks, streams, urban areas, highways, and areas that were burned by wildfires. The threat zone included downtown LA, Hollywood, Beverly Hills, and many suburbs. "Shallow landslides and mudslides are expected," the weather service said. The Weather Prediction Center of the National Weather Service predicted heavy snow over the Cascade Mountains and the Sierra Nevada into the weekend. An avalanche warning was issued for the Sierra Nevada backcountry around Lake Tahoe, which straddles the California-Nevada border. Nearly 2 feet of new snow had fallen by Friday, and up to another 5 feet was expected when another storm moves in with the potential for gale-force winds and high-intensity flurries Sunday, the weather service said.

California's wine country wasn't spared from the rare brew of wind and snow. Mark Neal told KPIX-TV that he woke up Friday to see a foot of snow—more than he'd seen in 40-plus years—and dozens of his oak trees snapped in half. "It's pretty much a battleground," he said. "Some of them are over 200 years old." Meanwhile, people farther east were struggling to deal with the fallout from storms earlier this week. More than a half-million people in Michigan were still without power late Friday night, days after one of the worst ice storms in decades caused widespread power outages by knocking down some 3,000 ice-coated power lines. Promises of power restoration by Sunday, when low temperatures were expected to climb back above zero, were of little consolation. "That's four days without power in such weather," said Apurva Gokhale, of Walled Lake. "It's unthinkable."

(More California stories.)

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