The National Weather Service issued a blizzard warning for the LA and Ventura County mountains for the first time since 1989.
It’s the second blizzard warning to ever be issued for the area mountains.
February 8, 1989, a significant weather system moved into southern California leaving hundreds of drivers stranded in mountain passes and knocking out power. Snow even fell in portions of the San Fernando Valley.
Friday’s weather system is expected to bring two to five feet of snow above 5000 feet.
What is the criteria needed for a blizzard warning?
- Sustained winds or frequent gusts of 35 mph or greater.
- Falling/or blowing snow reducing visibility to less than a quarter mile for 3 hours or more.
These conditions will create difficult to impossible traveling conditions.
The Blizzard Warning is in effect from Friday at 4 a.m. until Saturday at 4 p.m.
When a blizzard warning is issued the concern is not only the amount of snowfall expected but rather the weather conditions that will arise.
One challenge is that snow levels will fluctuate. Snow levels are expected to climb from 4000 feet to 5000 feet through Friday afternoon, but will rapidly fall back to around 2500 feet by Saturday morning.
Some of the areas in the blizzard warning will see heavy snow, then heavy rain, then back to snow as the snow levels change.
Areas outside of the blizzard warning—San Bernardino mountains, for example, are under a winter storm warning through Saturday.
It’s recommended to avoid mountain travel as conditions are expected to quickly deteriorate.