Southern California gets hit with powerful storm bringing rain, mountain snow, gusty winds
The coldest storm of the season hit Southern California Thursday bringing gusty winds, rain, and mountain snow into the region – even the area’s first Blizzard Warning in over three decades.
RELATED: California rain timeline: Dangerous winter storm to bring snow, frigid temps
The winter storms shut down roads for hours before reopening, in addition to flooding multiple Southern California roads.
"Do not travel on any of the mountain roads unless it's absolutely essential," warned FOX 11 meteorologist Rick Dickert. "And bring your chains."
RELATED: Rare Blizzard Warning to go into effect for parts of Southern California
Models show there will be a break in the storm Sunday before rain chances return Monday.
Here’s what you can expect across Southland.
Los Angeles County
In Los Angeles County, some of the major roads were flooded by the heavy rain Friday.
In North Hollywood, multiple cars were stuck as the water rose on some of the roads. The flooding shut down Vineland Avenue between Vanowen Street and Sherman Way Friday night.
Some parts of LA even saw sleet and snow Thursday. FOX 11's Phil Shuman took a video of sleet coming down in Studio City while FOX 11's Chelsea Edwards saw hail and a small amount of snow at the Hollywood sign.
MOUNT BALDY, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 24: Snow falls at a school basketball court in Los Angeles County in the San Gabriel Mountains on February 24, 2023 near Mount Baldy, California. A major storm, carrying a rare blizzard warning for parts of Southern California, has begun to deliver heavy snowfall to the mountains with some snowfall expected to reach lower elevations in Los Angeles County. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
RELATED: Hollywood sign sees snow, hail during coldest storm in years
Dangerous rip currents are expected along the coast with large breaking waves of four to seven feet. Beachgoers are asked to stay out of the water due to dangerous surf conditions and the risk of ocean drowning.
The Los Angeles County Public Works declared a Phase 2 Mud and Debris Forecast through the weekend for fire burn areas under three years of recovery. This includes parts of Azusa, Duarte, Glendale, Monrovia, the city of Los Angeles, La Tuna Canyon, and Sunland-Tujunga.
- A Flash Flood Warning is in effect through 2 a.m. Saturday
- A Flood Watch was in effect 10 a.m. Friday through. 6 p.m. Saturday
- A Wind Advisory is in effect from 1 p.m. Friday until 4 a.m. Saturday
- A High Surf Advisory is in effect 10 a.m. Friday until 8 a.m. Saturday
- A Yellow Alert in the Fish Fire burn area beginning 11 a.m. Thursday
Residents can report storm-related damage, traffic signal outages, flooding or other weather-related concerns to LA County Public Works by calling 1-800-675-4357.
LA’s mountain communities will get hit the hardest with continuous snow expected through Saturday night. On Friday, NWS said wind gusts have the potential to reach 70 mph. With the mix of heavy snow and gusty winds, a Blizzard Warning goes into effect starting Friday morning.
- Blizzard Warning from 4 a.m. Friday until 4 p.m. Saturday
San Bernardino and Riverside counties
Inland Empire communities above 2,000 first experienced the storm's impact over the course of the week.
Residents in Yucaipa saw a rare blanket of snow that started early Thursday morning.
The snow hit Highway 18 between Crestline and Lake Arrowhead and for now, the roadway remains open. On Highway 189, one of the steepest in the area, over two dozen vehicles became stuck after a multi-car pileup.
North Hollywood, CA - February 24: Motorists drive through a flooded area of Vanowen Street in North Hollywood amidst heavy rain Friday, Feb. 24, 2023. Southern California has only gotten a taste of the powerful winter storm system that forecasters say will bring an extended period of cold temperatures, high winds and snow, prompting the regions first blizzard warning on record.(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
For those who don’t reside in the mountains in cities such as Ontario and Corona, showers are expected Thursday, then heavy rain Friday and Saturday. On Friday night, wind gusts could reach up to 35 mph.
- A Wind Advisory is in effect from 6 a.m. Friday to 6 a.m. Saturday
- A Blizzard Warning is in effect 4 a.m. Friday to 4 p.m. Saturday
Orange County residents can expect showers Thursday before heavy rain strikes Friday and Saturday, with a punch of gusty winds. NWS said precipitation amounts will be between a half and three-quarters of an inch.
- A Flood Watch was issued from 1 p.m. Friday to 10 p.m. Saturday
- A Wind Advisory is in effect from 5 a.m. Friday to 6 a.m. Saturday
Heavy rainfall was expected to strike Ventura County Friday and Saturday. When the storm hits its peak, thunderstorms are possible. Wind gusts could reach up to 30 mph Friday night, with lows in the 30s.
- A Flood Watch is in effect from 4 a.m. Friday to 6 p.m. Saturday
- A Wind Advisory is in effect from 10 a.m. Friday to 1 am. Saturday
For all of the Ventura County mountain communities, including the Santa Susana Mountains, strong winds and cold wind chills will come with the snow. A Blizzard Warning went into effect at 4 a.m. Friday and will last to 4 p.m. Saturday. The NWS predicts total snow accumulations between 6 and 12 inches for elevations between 2,000 and 4,000 feet and up to 5 feet for higher elevations.
- Blizzard Warning from 4 a.m. Friday to 4 p.m. Saturday
The following areas are under an evacuation warning from Thursday, February 23rd at 3 p.m. through Saturday, February 25th at 10 a.m., unless conditions stabilize or worsen.
- Matilija Canyon Road in areas north of Fairview Road, including North Fork and Camino Cielo, Ojai
- Creek Road near San Antonio Creek and Old Creek Road, Ojai
- Camp Chaffee at Casitas Vista Road near Camp Chaffee
- Ventura Beach RV Park, Ventura (through 6:00 p.m. Friday)
Officials said travel is not recommended and should be restricted to emergencies only.