A frigid Canadian storm front rode through portions of Southern California, dusting mountain areas with snow overnight and dropping light rain in other areas.
In Santa Maria, snow fell at the airport for the first time in more than 40 years. Weather forecasters said snow had not fallen in the area since 1942, but Santa Maria Airport Manager Dan Hoback said he recalled a snowfall in 1947.
“I was in the third grade when it fell,” Hoback said. “We all left school and went outside to play in the snow.”
Two to 4 inches of snow also fell in the San Gabriel, San Bernardino and Tehachapi mountains Wednesday, said WeatherData Inc. meteorologist Marty McKewon.
“There were blizzard conditions in the Tehachapi Mountains,” McKewon said, “and there was zero visibility at times.” Warnings were issued to motorists but the roads were not closed, he said.
At Yosemite, the valley floor got a foot of snow.
About two-tenths of an inch of rainfall was expected to pepper the parched Los Angeles basin today, bringing the annual rainfall to 0.41 of an inch. A half-inch of rain could fall in the coastal areas, McKewon said.
He added that light snow might fall as low as sea level in Southern California this evening.
McKewon said the storm has kept temperatures slightly lower than average. The high Wednesday was 60, eight degrees cooler than the normal high, McKewon said.
He said the storm would leave the region during the next two days, but temperatures would remain low during the holidays.
“We won’t be seeing any warming trend through Christmas,” McKewon said. “The temperature will moderate, but we won’t be seeing anything in the 80s.”