Blizzard warning remains in effect in Southern California as snow, wind, rain expected

Rare winter storm wallops Southern California

Rare winter storm wallops Southern California


Large swathes of Southern California are being hit with wintry weather as a storm system moves through the region. The National Weather Service in Los Angeles said that Friday will be “a busy weather day,” with plenty of heavy rain, wind and snow, and “even waterspouts or small tornadoes.”  

A blizzard warning for the Ventura County and Los Angeles County mountains remains in effect until 4 p.m. local time Saturday, according to the National Weather Service. This marks the first time since 1989 that the weather service issued a blizzard warning for the Southern California mountains. A flash flood warning was also issued for much of the L.A. area Friday afternoon, and was in effect through 10 p.m. Friday.

Winter Weather in Southern California
A motorist drives on a wet road under a snow-covered hillside Friday, Feb. 24, 2023, in Agua Dulce, Calif. California and other parts of the West faced heavy snow and rain from the latest winter storm to pound the U.S.

Marcio Jose Sanchez / AP

The Sierra Avalanche Center also issued an avalanche warning for parts of the Sierra Nevada mountains from Friday morning until Saturday morning. Forecasters predicted “multiple rounds” of snow, with accumulations of up to 3 to 5 feet predicted for the Sierra Nevada region. 

“This storm system will be unusually cold, and snow levels will be very low,” the National Weather Service said Friday. “In fact, areas very close to the Pacific Coast and also into the interior valleys that are not accustomed to seeing snow, may see some accumulating snowfall.” 

Boys have a snowball fight in Angwin, California
Eight-year-old Gael Guzman, left, has a snowball fight with his 11-year-old brother Atziel Guzman on Feb. 24, 2023 in Angwin, California, as a large winter storm brought snow to lower elevations in the Napa Valley. 

/ Getty Images

According to CBS Los Angeles, some regions that could experience rare snowfall include:

  • the high desert like the Mojave Desert
  • nearly all foothill areas
  • a large portion of the Inland Empire
  • the Santa Clarita Valley

According to social media posts from local agencies, the weather has resulted in multiple road and highway closures after snow and ice accumulated on the surfaces. 

Winter storms have sowed chaos across the U.S. this week, bringing heavy snow to places that rarely see it as well as areas that do, knocking out power to hundreds of thousands of homes and grounding or delaying thousands of flights.