Heavy snow fell in Southern California on Friday during a record blizzard around Los Angeles, while heavy rains threatened other areas with flooding.
Known for its sunshine and palm trees, one of the worst winter storms in decades hit the region.
Parts of the highway connecting Mexico, the United States and Canada have been closed due to snow and ice, and are not expected to reopen soon.
The U.S. Weather Service warned that snow could have “dangerous and fatal” effects on roads in Southern California.
Snow and wind damaged power lines, knocking out power to 100,000 homes in California, according to the special “PowerOutage” website.
And the U.S. Weather Service confirmed that even “no snow” valleys can be blanketed in white.
Weather forecasters appeared on local channels Friday, after their usually bright sun, with knee-deep snow as evidence that this blizzard was unusual.
In a rare sight, residents posted pictures of their gardens covered in snow on social media. The Los Angeles Weather Service tweeted, “Wondering what this freezing precipitation is from the sky in your area (if you’re in the mountains)?”
The company said the first is soft, wet and made of snow, while the second is more solid and made of ice.
A few snow flakes spread over the famous Hollywood sign, amid the crowd’s joy. However, experts confirmed that this “snow” could just be hail.
But not everyone in the region experiences snow. Californians living at lower elevations can experience heavy rains, putting them at risk of flooding and landslides.
A flood warning system is in place for Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara on the Pacific coast.
It is difficult to make a direct link between these storms and climate change, but scientists continue to emphasize that warming is increasing the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events.
• According to the special “PowerOutage” website, snow and wind knocked out power lines to 100,000 homes in California.
• Californians living at lower elevations may experience more precipitation, putting them at risk of flooding and landslides.
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