Southwest in for a Cold & Snowy New Year

A powerful storm system has slammed parts of Southern California, and it has dumped snow and rain on the area that will keep its focus on this region into the beginning of the New Year. This unusual storm will bring in very cold air, which in turn will cause freezing and frost to settle over a large part of California into the end of this week. The coldest air that Californians have felt so far will continue freezing the state.

This storm formed close by on Tuesday as predicted and helped to enhance the cold air and bring snow levels down to low elevations, including many passes and high deserts. Strong winds were brought along with this system and knocked down power lines and trees, causing widespread power outages that lead to some fatalities in central and northern California on Tuesday.

Even though the temperatures aren’t predicted to drop to record-low territory, the air will get cold enough for a long enough period of time to bring forth a frost to the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys, as well as part of the central coast of CA.

The temperatures will drop below 28 F for two to five hours in some areas, which is the level where damage can occur to the citrus crops if preventative measures aren’t taken.

Snow has also managed to cause some damage over some of the passes. Parts of I-15 in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties were closed early Wednesday morning due to heavy snow, and other roadways in the area also faced the same fate with more than 100 cars stuck in snow.

About 6 inches has fallen in the Lake Elsinore area of Riverside County. Just the sheer weight of the snow had brought down many trees. Although most of the snow has already fallen, a little more is predicted to fall over the mountains of Southern California on Wednesday before completely leaving the area on Wednesday night.

This storm will bring some showers of cold rain to coastal Southern California on Wednesday, but the amount of rain won’t directly impact the drought conditions. More significant amounts of rainfall and snow will fall inland throughout the southwest including Las Vegas, northern Arizona, and Nevada.

For the many people lining up in Pasadena for the Tournament of Roses Parade on New Years Day, the temperatures will dip to right above the freezing mark during the morning and will climb towards the 40s as the sunshine makes its way back to the area. After the storm finishes dropping snow in the Southwest, it will aim to tackle the Central and Eastern states this weekend causing travel problems.

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