Blizzard near Los Angeles? Bizarre pattern creates historic heat, ice storm
The land of swimming pools and movie stars is on the verge of a blizzard warning for the first time in over 30 years.
A wild pattern over North America resulted in significant snowfall in the southwestern United States and brought a rare blizzard to the mountains near Los Angeles for the first time since the late 1980s.
Even stranger, the same buildup causing a highly disruptive snow and ice storm over Ontario and Quebec could result in one of the hottest February days on record for people south of the border.
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An extreme pattern over North America this week has a significant trough plunging over the western half of the US and Canada, while a major ridge covers the eastern half of the continent.
This type of atmospheric upheaval will result in rocky weather from coast to coast as nature searches in vain for any semblance of equilibrium.
Ontario and Quebec sit midway between these two extremes, under the impact of a major winter storm that threatens significant snow and ice through Thursday.
Blizzard conditions possible, a short drive from Los Angeles
To the west, the same frigid trough that brought cold and snowy conditions to parts of British Columbia’s south coast on Wednesday will send snow to the deserts.
More than half a meter of snow and wind gusts of over 80 km/h several major highways closed in northern Arizona on Wednesday. Snow showers are forecast for Thursday and Friday in northern Las Vegas.
But it’s the wintry weather in California that’s causing all the excitement.
The US National Weather Service issued a snowstorm warning for the San Gabriel Mountains north of Los Angeles, the first such warning for the region since 1989.
Up to 35cm of snow could be driven by the wind on the region’s major mountain passes by Saturday, while the highest peaks could receive more than 2 meters of fresh snow by this weekend.
Historic heat threatens Atlanta, Charlotte, DC
Communities in the Eastern United States can only dream of wintry weather like this.
It was an unusually warm winter along the East Coast, with little snow and little cold except for the brief but large burst of freezing air we saw in late December.
A high-pressure ridge parked over the region will work with warm winds blowing from the south to bring temperatures to levels hardly ever seen in February.
Many people in the southeastern and mid-Atlantic states were able to experience their warmest February day on record on Thursday, with temperatures soaring into the upper 20s from the Gulf of Mexico as far north as Washington, DC
The nation’s capital could see a high of nearly 28C on Thursday, which would be the warmest February temperature ever recorded there.
Readings that warm are well above season for this time of year. Washington’s seasonal high does not reach 28°C until the first week of June.