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September 01, 2020 10:27am
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California sees low-elevation snow, unseasonable cold from spring storm system

A wintry storm system brought low-elevation snow, hail and unseasonable cold to California on Friday in the wake of a late-season low pressure system that passed through the area.

Spring took a back seat again Friday as a wintry weather system brought more low-elevation snow, hail, rain and unusually cold temperatures to California.

A cold and unstable air remained in place after a late-season low pressure system spun into the state a day earlier and spawned unseasonable conditions at a time when spring break is underway and the outdoor festival season is near.

"Snow day! We decided to close today," said a social media post by LuluBelle’s Coffee House and Bakery in Running Springs, a mountain town 90 minutes east of Los Angeles.


Snow fell to elevations as low as 1,500 feet in parts of Northern California while southern mountain ranges received fresh coatings of white down to 3,000 feet, the National Weather Service said.

Tire chains were required on sections of major Sierra Nevada highways including Interstates 80 and 50 as well as U.S. 395, according to Caltrans. Chains were also necessary on mountain routes in Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside counties.

The chilly blast nearly three weeks into spring follows a winter that got off to a very slow start in California and then suddenly ramped up with significant storms in February and March.

The Sierra snowpack that normally supplies about 30% of the water that California uses has rebounded, with water content continuing to be measured at above-average levels.

Some parts of the state could experience frosts and freezes Friday night into Saturday morning, with possible record low temperatures, forecasters said.

The weather will then be dry through the weekend, but with temperatures still running below normal before rising above normal during the week.

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