Southern Calif. Under Blizzard Warning, First Since 1989

    Southern Calif. Under Blizzard Warning, First Since 1989
    Last updated Feb 24, 2023
    Image credit: Getty Images [via BBC News]


    • Southern California is experiencing its first blizzard warning since 1989, with forecasters predicting that the region's mountains will receive record snowfall of up to 8 ft by Saturday.[1]
    • The blizzard warning — issued by the National Weather Service (NWS) for the Ventura Counties and Los Angeles County mountains — is set to remain in effect until 4 p.m. local time on Saturday.[2]
    • Drivers and travelers in some areas of California have already felt the impact of the storm, which closed the 15 Freeway near the Nevada line overnight on Tuesday, leaving people stranded for hours.[3]
    • The storm system has also brought large snowstorms and freezing temperatures to much of the northern US, and extends along the entire US west coast and into the Canadian province of British Columbia.[4]
    • The NWS also warned of dangerous conditions along the coast — including storm gusts, rip currents, and high surf — that it says is "capable of capsizing boats." Rain in coastal and valley areas is also expected, which will increase driving hazards, with chances for flooding in urban areas.[5]
    • As a result of the storm, 75k Californians were reportedly without power as of early Friday, as over 820k power outages were recorded across the nation — 720k of which were concentrated in Michigan. This comes as parts of the southern US are experiencing record heat, with a 100-degree temperature difference between the Northern Rockies and the South recorded earlier this week.[6]


    Narrative A

    The media is often quick to link these types of events to climate change. However, researchers have yet to see evidence of that connection in this case. That California is experiencing a blizzard carrying rain and snow after a three-year-long period of drought is not unusual. These recent storms appear no different from other major storms that have struck the Golden State every decade or more since records began in the 1800s.

    Narrative B

    While this storm alone may not be evidence of climate change, its combination with extreme heat, drought, and rain across the nation — and globally — certainly makes a compelling argument that this is the result of global warming. This weather whiplash is reaching a boiling point, and leaders cannot stand idly by as people worldwide succumb to its effects.

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