California sees strong winds, spring snowfall
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A blustery weather system swept parts of California with strong northwest winds and brought more spring snowfall Thursday, making travel hazardous in the mountains and deserts.
An 84 mph (135 kph) wind was recorded in mountains above the high desert northeast of Los Angeles, among many powerful gusts throughout Southern California, north through Kern County and along the Eastern Sierra, the National Weather Service said.
Light snow fell in mountains north of Los Angeles along heavily traveled Interstate 5 as well as in parts of the Sierra where the snowpack, a key part of the state’s water supply, is still below normal after a mediocre winter.
The California Department of Transportation warned travelers to be wary of winds and alert to chain requirements on various highways including U.S. 395, State Routes 58, 14 and 203.
The Tioga and Sonora passes through the Sierra maintained winter closures. Monitor Pass was closed due to snow but subject to reopen based on conditions.
For Southern California in particular, the system marked a sharp turnabout from a mini heat wave that started the week. On Monday, downtown Los Angeles hit a record 95 degrees (35 Celsius). Thursday’s highs throughout the region were much more moderate.
Gusty winds were expected to continue into Friday morning in many areas, followed by a return to above-normal temperatures heading into the weekend.