Blizzard near Los Angeles? Bizarre pattern spawns historic heat, ice storm

An extremely active pattern over North America will lead to strange weather from coast to coast.

The land of swimming pools and movie stars is close to a blizzard warning for the first time in more than 30 years.

A wild pattern draped over North America led to a significant bout of snow across southwestern portions of the United States, bringing a rare bout of blizzard conditions to the mountains near Los Angeles for the first time since the late 1980s.

Even stranger, the same setup creating a a highly disruptive snow and ice storm across Ontario and Quebec could lead to one of the hottest February days ever recorded for folks south of the border.

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An extreme pattern over North America this week has a significant trough dipping over the western half of the U.S. and Canada, while a large ridge blankets the eastern half of the continent.

This kind of atmospheric upheaval will lead to rocky weather from coast to coast as nature searches in vain for some semblance of balance.

Ontario and Quebec are caught in the middle between these two extremes, leaving them under the influence of a major winter storm that threatens significant snow and ice through Thursday.

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Blizzard conditions possible a short drive from Los Angeles

Out west, the same cold trough that brought cold and snowy conditions to parts of B.C.’s South Coast on Wednesday will send snow all the way down to the deserts.

More than half a metre of snow and winds gusting higher than 80 km/h closed several major highways in northern Arizona on Wednesday. Snow showers are in the forecast for neighbourhoods in northern Las Vegas on Thursday and Friday.


But it’s the wintry weather in California generating all the buzz.

The U.S. National Weather Service issued a blizzard warning for the San Gabriel Mountains north of Los Angeles, the first such warning for this region since 1989.


The region’s major mountain passes could see up to 35 cm of wind-driven snow through Saturday, while the tallest peaks could receive more than 2 metres of fresh snow by this weekend.

Historic heat looming for Atlanta, Charlotte, D.C.

Communities across the eastern U.S. can only dream of that kind of wintry weather.

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It’s been an unusually warm winter along the East Coast, with little snow and hardly any cold outside of the brief but major burst of frigid air we saw in late December.

A ridge of high pressure parked over the region will work together with warm winds blowing out of the south to bring temperatures to levels hardly ever seen in February.

Many folks in the southeast and Mid-Atlantic states could see their warmest February day ever recorded on Thursday, with temperatures soaring into the upper 20s from the Gulf of Mexico all the way north to Washington, D.C.

The nation’s capital could register a high of almost 28°C on Thursday, which would tie the warmest temperature ever recorded there in the month of February.

Readings this toasty are significantly above seasonal for this time of year. Washington’s seasonal high temperature doesn’t reach 28°C until around the first week of June.