Cold storm brings rain, blizzard warnings to California
California and other parts of the West faced heavy snow and rain Friday from the latest winter storm to pound the United States.
The National Weather Service warned of a “cold and dangerous winter storm” that would last through Saturday in California. Blizzard warnings were posted in the Sierra Nevada and Southern California mountain ranges, where as much as 5 feet of snow was expected.
NWS meteorologist Alex Tardy said San Diego County won't be hit quite as hard as points north. Still, he said, the mountains can expect 6 to 15 inches of snow above 5,000 feet.
At the Golden Acorn Casino just off Interstate 8 in Boulevard, drivers said travel conditions had been pretty good on Friday.
But San Diego native Dean Anderson, who was traveling in an RV with his wife and young daughter to Phoenix, said he wanted to get to Arizona before the stormy weather hit.
“I think we’re a bit ahead of it. We tried to get out soon and we know Saturday’s gonna be just torrential," Anderson said.
Forecasters warned of severe thunderstorms that could create waterspouts off the Southern California coast, The Associated Press reported.
In Southern California, the latest storm began moving in Thursday with rain and snow flurries. Flood watches and warnings were in effect through Saturday afternoon for some coastal regions and valleys, The Associated Press reported, and the potential for rainfall causing flooding and debris flow in some areas burned by wildfires in recent years.
The storm has added to major precipitation from the December and January “atmospheric rivers,” which improved California’s drought outlook, but authorities who allocate water to farms, cities and industries remain cautious because of a recent history of abrupt changes in hydrologic conditions, The Associated Press reported.