Snow falls on Southern California, and this time it’s not just in the mountains

Martin Dominguez, 23, of Hesperia, plays in the snow on side of the I-15 in the Cajon Pass near Phelan on Thursday, February 21, 2019. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)


How often do Rancho Cucamonga, Riverside, Pasadena or North Hollywood get a dusting?


“We’ve been getting a lot of phone calls about it and people are pretty interested. This is really getting people excited,” said Lisa Phillips, a meteorologist in the National Weather Service’s Los Angeles/Oxnard office.

There was some in 2013 and 2015, according to Phillips. But the last time snow accumulated in downtown L.A. was 1949, and there are reports of it snowing there, she said, but it’s unclear if it’s accumulating.

The storm that moved across Southern California Thursday, brought with it a blast of cold air from the north and left many throughout the region surprised to see the white stuff falling. By midafternoon, the snow level had dropped to 1,400 feet and, according to NWS, will continue to drop overnight.

Savanah Viramontes, 9, of Hesperia, and family have a snow flight near Interstate 15 in the Cajon Pass near Hesperia on Thursday, February 21, 2019. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

Caltrans midday shut down all highways into the Big Bear area in the San Bernardino Mountains. There were reports of avalanches and mudslides along Highway 38, according to NWS and the California Highway Patrol.

Highway 74 from Lake Elsinore into Orange County was also closed at about 4 p.m. due to snow.

The storm is one in a series that has slammed into Southern California in recent weeks. Bringing drought-ending rainfall to much of the area and leaving mountain highways damaged and closed for weeks, and in the case of Highway 243 in the San Jacinto Mountains, even months.

Residents of areas including Fontana and Calabasas remarked about the uniqueness of the winter storm and its impact. Even actor Jerry O’Connell tweeted about it Thursday afternoon.


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