Snow and rain fell Monday on California as spring delivered the kind of stormy weather that was missing most of the winter.
Chain controls were in effect for vehicles in much of the Sierra Nevada, where weekend snow caused traffic disruptions and avalanche threats.
Winter storm warnings were expected to remain in effect until late afternoon for much of the Sierra, which normally stores about a third of California’s water supply as snowpack but is well below the April average as resurgent drought and abnormal dryness encompasses two-thirds of the state.
After bringing “widespread beneficial rain” to the San Francisco Bay region on Sunday, the storm moved into eastern and southern California early Monday.
The National Weather Service said the cold front generated reports of lightning to the north.
“Scattered rain shower and mountain snow shower activity will increase in areal coverage and intensity Tuesday afternoon as a low pressure center moves eastward across Southern California. Below normal temperatures will return to near normal by the end of the period,” said NWS.
Numerous spinouts were reported on Los Angeles-area freeways, and there were scattered reports of roadway flooding and canyon road rockfalls.
To the southeast, an evacuation warning was issued near a 2018 wildfire burn scar in Riverside County due to the potential for heavy rain. A warning is one level below an evacuation order, but people who need time to leave or have pets and livestock are urged to leave right away.
Significant snowfall was expected atop Southern California mountains, as much as 2 feet above 6,000 feet.
Forecasters said rain and mountain snow is expected in the region through Wednesday with a decrease in moisture starting Thursday.
“A clearing pattern seems to be in the works for the long term. Weak ridging will dry out the area on Friday and persist into Saturday,” said the NWS forecast.