LOS ANGELES, February 26: A powerful winter storm that swept down the West Coast with flooding and frigid temperatures shifted its focus to southern California on Saturday, swelling rivers to dangerous levels and dropping snow in even low-lying areas around Los Angeles.
The National Weather Service said it was one of the strongest storms to ever hit southwest California and even as the volume of wind and rain dropped, it continued to have significant impact including snowfall down to elevations as low as 1,000 feet (305 metres).
#LARiver channel scenes outside @NBCLA. #LARain #LAstorm #LAweather ☔️ pic.twitter.com/VQn70Ko4dq
— Jonathan Lloyd (@JonLloydLA) February 24, 2023
Hills around suburban Santa Clarita, north of Los Angeles, were blanketed in white, and snow also surprised inland suburbs to the east.
Rare blizzard warnings for the mountains and widespread flood watches were ending late in the day as the storm tapered off in the region. Forecasters said there would be a one-day respite before the next storm arrives on Monday.
More than 120,000 California utility customers remained without electricity, according to PowerOutage.us. And Interstate 5, the West Coast’s major north-south highway, remained closed due to heavy snow and ice in Tejon Pass through the mountains north of Los Angeles.
The storm, fueled by low pressure rotating off the coast, did not depart quietly. Lightning strikes shut down LA County beaches and scattered bursts of snow, showers and thunderstorms persisted.