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California weather — Flood and avalanches warning amid ‘life and death’ warning for homeless people

California’s first blizzard warning since 1989

Louise Boyle,Graeme Massie
Saturday 25 February 2023 19:33 GMT
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California weathered a punishing weekend of heavy snow, torrential rain and bitterly cold temperatures.

Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass said the conditions were posed “a matter of life or death for many of our unhoused neighbors,” and asked resident to help those without permanent shelter find emergency lodgings during the storm.

The storms triggered the state’s first blizzard warning since 1989 with record snowfall forecast in some high-elevation areas. Up to 8ft of snow was forecasted to fall in the mountains outside of Los Angeles on the storm’s second day. The National Weather Service warned that travel would be very difficult to impossible.

The storm also brought the threat of ocean water spouts and land-based tornadoes in the Los Angeles area of southeast Santa Barbara and southern Ventura counties.

A coast-to-coast winter storm pummeled much of the western and northern United States, styming travel plans and leaving nearly 1million people without power.

But the country was a landscape of climate extremes: While deep Arctic air caused temperatures to plummet as much as 30 to 40 degrees below average in parts of the West and Plains, the US also experienced its first 100-degree day of 2023. Falcon Lake in Texas hit 100F on Wednesday as temperature records were broken across the Southwest.


California to get rare blizzard

In California, a rare blizzard warning was issued for mountains in Los Angeles County and Ventura County from early on Friday morning until Saturday afternoon.

In the meantime, California can expect yet more rainfall after being deluged by a wave of atmospheric rivers at the beginning of the year.

Moderate rainfall, but heavy in some spots, and thunderstorms are forecast in the Pacific Northwest on Wednesday before moving south and settling over California on Thursday.

Louise Boyle22 February 2023 15:33

Twin cities to get slammed by historic storm

In the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St Paul, the first round of wintry conditions dropped three to five inches of snow across the area. The flurries will pick up in intensity by Wednesday afternoon, NWS reported.

The February record of 13.8 inches of snow from a single storm in Minneapolis “is likely to be smashed,” reported AccuWeather meteorologist Matt Benz.

Louise Boyle22 February 2023 15:37

Flight cancellations pile up at US airports

Travel woes were beginning to mount up at US airports on Wednesday morning as the severe weather conditions took hold.

More than 1,000 flights had been cancelled in the US and another 1,000 or so delayed, according to FlightAware.

The worst affected airports were in Minneapolis-St Paul, Denver and Detroit.

Louise Boyle22 February 2023 15:53

St Paul sees dangerous whiteout conditions

Snow begins to fall around the Cathedral of Saint Paul, on Tuesday, February 21 at the Minnesota State Capitol in St. Paul, Minnesota. A monster winter storm took aim at the Upper Midwest on Tuesday (Alex Kormann/Star Tribune via AP)
Snow begins to fall around the Cathedral of Saint Paul, on Tuesday, February 21 at the Minnesota State Capitol in St. Paul, Minnesota. A monster winter storm took aim at the Upper Midwest on Tuesday (Alex Kormann/Star Tribune via AP) (AP)
Louise Boyle22 February 2023 16:07

While the Midwest shivers, record-breaking heat in Florida

While temperatures plummeted in the northern half of the United States on Wednesday further south, daily high temperature records were being matched or broken.

In Marathon, Florida, the daily high temperature record was tied for the second day in a row as the town hit 86F on Tuesday.

Louise Boyle22 February 2023 16:18

Businesses, schools shuttered and roads closed

Many schools throughout the Dakotas, Minnesota and Wisconsin were called off for Wednesday, ahead of the storm, The Associated Press reports.

Offices closed, and so did the Minnesota Legislature. South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem shut down state executive branch offices in several parts of the state, and employees were working remotely.

In Wyoming, virtually every road was impacted, and many were closed. Officials warned they may stay that way for days.

Associated Press

Louise Boyle22 February 2023 16:33

Watch: Weather forecast as coast-to-coast storm hits the US

Weather Forecast for Wednesday, Feb. 22
Louise Boyle22 February 2023 16:52

Winter weather makes travel hazardous in Arizona

Arizonans were being strongly advised against getting on the road on Wednesday by the state’s department of transport as they shared pictures of whiteout conditions caused by the storm.

Crews were removing downed trees from the Arizona 260, a scenic highway running east–west through the middle of the state.

“If you do decide to travel, be prepared for lengthy delays due to impassable roads,” the transport department tweeted.

Louise Boyle22 February 2023 17:10

North of the border, more winter storm warnings

North of the border, Canadians were also receiving alerts due to the severe winter weather conditions caused by the Arctic blast.

Toronto was under a winter storm warning on Wednesday with up to 12 inches of snow possible in the Ontario city by Thursday night, CTV reported.

Louise Boyle22 February 2023 17:31

Three killed in avalanche in Cascade Mountains as heavy snow blocks rescuers

Heavy snowfall and high winds on Tuesday kept searchers away from a remote, jagged peak in Washington’s Cascade Mountains, where an avalanche killed three climbers from the northeastern US over the weekend.

The slide struck Sunday as a group of six climbers were ascending a steep, snow-packed gulley on the 8,705-foot Colchuck Peak, about 70 miles east of Seattle in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, Chelan County sheriff’s Sgt. Jason Reinfeld said Tuesday.

Four of the climbers were swept about 500 feet down the slope. One of the four survived, a 56-year-old man from New York, and despite some injuries he was able to confirm that the other three were killed before working his way back to their base camp at Colchuck Lake, Mr Reinfeld said.

Three killed in avalanche in Cascade Mountains as heavy snow blocks body recovery

Those killed were identified as a 53-year-old man from Connecticut, a 60-year-old woman from New York and a 66-year-old man from New Jersey


Louise Boyle22 February 2023 17:49

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