While Fresno area residents dealt with heavy rain, strong winds, and power outages on Friday, southern and northern California braced for an even stronger storm Saturday.
Friday’s inclement weather followed a Thursday in which snow fell in coastal California communities where it’s rarely seen.
“San Luis Obispo County sported a blanket of white across its higher elevations on Thursday as a chilly winter storm dropped snow across the region,” sanluisobispo.com reported Thursday. “Snowflakes dusted vineyards in Paso Robles, frosted a field off Highway 58 as cows grazed contentedly … (and) snow also covered the tops of local hills and mountains from Cayucos to San Simeon.”
— John Lindsey (@PGE_John) February 23, 2023
Snow in Morro Bay :0 pic.twitter.com/GQSK7R6sJ2
— Arden (@ArdenHusky) February 23, 2023
In Santa Cruz, snow fell on beaches and the Highway 17 summit.
Snow on the beach in Santa Cruz ~ pic.twitter.com/ogA8Ago7r7
— oneofthegoodkarens (@mattresstagging) February 23, 2023
Here’s something we don’t get to see everyday living in the Bay Area: SNOW!!! I just took this video around 5am near the summit of Highway 17 in the Santa Cruz Mountains where thick, fluffy flakes were falling on us and covering cars in the parking lot. ❄️☃️ @abc7newsbayarea pic.twitter.com/Pd788mZTk2
— Lena Howland (@LenaHowland) February 23, 2023
As for what’s ahead, the National Weather Service predicted as much as 5 feet of snow in the Sierra and Southern California mountain ranges and posted blizzard warnings.
“Simply put, this will be a historic event for the amount of snow over the higher peaks and lower elevation snow,” NWS said.
Valley Power Outages
Thousands of Valley households and businesses lost their power on Friday. According to PG&E, this was the tally shortly before 1 p.m:
Yosemite Division – 900 customers out on 21 outages. This division includes Stanislaus, Tuolumne, Merced, Mariposa, and Madera counties.
Fresno Division – 1,215 customers out on 59 outages. This division includes all of Fresno County, most of Kings County, and portions of Tulare County.
Kern Division – 1,536 customers out on 26 outages. This division includes Kern County.
Stockton Division – 173 customers out on 15 outages. This division includes San Joaquin, Calaveras, and Amador counties.
Go to this link to see when your service will be restored.
The California Highway Patrol said at 6:24 a.m. Friday that both Interstate 5 over the Grapevine and Highway 58 over Tehachapi Pass were closed because of snow.
Interstate 5, the West Coast’s major north-south highway, was shut down south of the Oregon border as snow fell to the floor of the Sacramento Valley.
Parts of Interstate 80 in California and Wyoming closed, including about a 70-mile stretch over the top of the Sierra Nevada linking California and Nevada.
— GV Wire • News (@GVWire) February 24, 2023
An NWS wind advisory for the Valley will expire at 4 p.m. Friday.
The forecast for Fresno and surrounding communities calls for showers through Saturday night. After cloudy but dry skies Sunday rain could return overnight and continue through Wednesday.