The snow arrived too late in Los Angeles County to count as a White Christmas, but it fell on time in Seattle – and it kept falling until it covered the ground around the famous Pike Market. Place Sunday.
The powder fell as a second cold and stormy front hit the west coast over the holiday weekend, triggering winter storm warnings from Seattle to San Diego, which continued as a new wave of precipitation was expected Monday and Tuesday.
A heat wave continued to bake the southern plains, where temperatures were up to 25 degrees above normal and are expected to stay there at least until Monday, federal forecasters said. Temperatures in the 80s were recorded Sunday in Wichita Falls, Texas, and Frederick, Oklahoma.
The big white Christmas news arrived in Seattle on Saturday night in an area unaccustomed to powder snow on December 25. This continued overnight and about 5 inches or more of snow accumulated in the area with some areas seeing much more.
In the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California, Interstate 80 in the Donner Summit area was closed for a third day, and the snow conditions were so dangerous that the The National Weather Service office in Reno, Nevada, said, “If you have the luxury of staying home and not having to drive today, take advantage of it.”
Up to 3 feet of snow fell in the area overnight, and 2 more could fall by the end of the day, federal forecasters said.
In Los Angeles County, up to 10 inches of snow fell at Mount Baldy, with even Mount Wilson, a summit seen from afar in the nation’s second largest city, registering 2 inches.
With another boost of precipitation possible from Monday night to Tuesday, forecasters said the snow level could drop to 2,500 feet, meaning even the foothills of the Los Angeles Basin could receive gunpowder.
Snow fell south at Santiago Peak in Orange County and Palomar Mountain in San Diego County, both of which had registered about an inch and a third of powder Sunday morning, according to the National Weather Service.
Government forecasters said during a discussion of the forecast that a “broad upper level” of low with “cyclonic” or counterclockwise flow would continue to hit the west coast with storms. at least Tuesday.
Two other systems producing rain and snow were expected.
Meanwhile, unusually high temperatures in the southern plains could spread south this week, forecasters said.
A “mix of unusually warm temperatures, low humidity and windy conditions” prompted the US Storm Prediction Center to publish a critical assessment of fire weather risks for parts of the central and southern high plains, including the enclaves of Texas and Oklahoma, the weather service said in a forecast discussion.