Mt. Baldy could get up to 8 feet of snow amid rare blizzard warning

Mt. Baldy
Mt. Baldy could see epic snow fall.
(Chris Erskine / Los Angeles Times)

Mt. Baldy could get up to 8 feet of snow or more this week from the likely historic winter storm expected to dump rain and snow and bring strong winds across Southern California.

Los Angeles County’s highest peak is among the mountain tops that could see the most extreme snowfall by Saturday, according to the National Weather Service, which issued a rare blizzard warning for much of the region’s mountains Friday and Saturday.

“The San Gabriels are definitely going to be getting the highest snow amounts, especially the eastern portion,” said Carol Smith, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Oxnard. She said specific totals for certain peaks, like Mt. Baldy, are hard to estimate days out and given the high winds forecast, but she expected up to 96 inches of snow there, if not more.

“It’s going to be a ton of snow, there’s going to be a lot of wind,” Smith said.

Already dumping snow in Northern California, the storm is set to intensify as it moves to Southern California, bringing blizzard warnings to the mountains.

Feb. 24, 2023


The Mt. Baldy Resort already closed its slopes Wednesday and Thursday because of weather, the resort said, though forecasters say the worst of the storm won’t likely hit until Friday.

Snow accumulations across Southern California’s mountains are expected to fall between 6 and 12 inches between 2,000 to 4,000 feet in elevation —including most major mountain passes, making travel difficult, the weather service warned.

At elevations above 4,000 feet, snow totals are forecast between 2 to 5 feet, with isolated amounts up to 7 or 8 feet in higher elevations, like Mt. Baldy.

Scenes from across Southern California, where a powerful winter storm dumped heaps of snow and record-setting rain.

Feb. 25, 2023

The blizzard warning for Friday and Saturday urged people to avoid mountain travel because of heavy snow, winds gusts up to 75 mph and “near zero visibility,” forecasters said.

“This is a significant winter storm, and people really shouldn’t attempt to drive up there unless they’re excessively prepared,” Smith said. She said conditions will be treacherous and dangerous, with an increased chance for avalanches.