Spring storm triggers snow in Southern California

The mountains of San Diego County were veiled in snow as the storm system brought a reminder of winter.

    Spring storm triggers snow in Southern California
    Snow covers the ground in Forest Falls, California, on Friday [The Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/AP]

    Drivers in Southern California were told to use tyre chains in the mountains and urban commuters were asked to slow down on Friday as a spring storm brought rain and snow from Santa Barbara to San Diego counties.

    The storm moved in during Thursday night, bringing more than 10mm of rain to Whittier and nearly as much to Pomona and Claremont, where the brief, heavy downpours were mixed with hail.

    The mountains of San Diego County were veiled in snow as the storm system brought a reminder of winter. Local media reported that the snow lay in a thin layer of only 2.5 cm. This was the first snow since early March and a winter weather advisory was issued to altitudes above 1,500.

    The storm offered only temporary relief for Southern Californians longing for rain and does virtually nothing for the enduring drought. The amount of snow that fell is too little to build up any legitimate snowpack and the storm isn’t strong enough to make a large contribution to local reservoirs.

    Los Angeles City expects virtually no rain in May, on average 6.6mm, so the 5.1mm on Friday made a dramatic impact, especially with the accompanying lightning. At the University of Southern California, one student said, "[It's] definitely different, like it never rains. I'm kind of freaking with the lighting and we've got to do our finals now."

    A new study by the US Forest Service tried to assess the scope of the problem of the long term drought in terms of tree loss. Researchers estimated that the water shortage has killed off at least 12.5 million trees in California's national forests.

    On Wednesday, California regulators adopted the first statewide rules permitting the building of seawater desalination projects. These are expected to proliferate as drought-stricken communities increasingly turn to the ocean to supplement their drinking supplies.

    No more significant rain is likely in Southern California until after the summer, and even then it is far from guaranteed.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Why some African Americans are moving to Africa

    Escaping systemic racism: Why I quit New York for Accra

    African-Americans are returning to the lands of their ancestors as life becomes precarious and dangerous in the USA.

    Why Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel

    Why Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel

    No country in the world recognises Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

    US: Muslims to become second-largest religious group

    US: Muslims to become second-largest religious group

    By 2050 the number of Muslims is projected to reach 8.1 million, or 2.1 percent, of the total US population.