A rare and powerful winter storm sweeping the West Coast is battering areas unaccustomed to snow and wintry mix, bringing parts of Portland, Ore., to a halt before moving south toward California. The varied precipitation, ranging from rain to snow to graupel, a slushier version of snow, was met with a mix of distress and marvel: Whiteout conditions shuttered roads in the mountains and stranded drivers, while beaches in areas like Santa Cruz, Calif., received a light dusting.
Conditions were expected to worsen through Friday with strong winds and heavy snow over the Sierra Nevada and the Transverse Ranges in Southern California. Officials are also concerned about flooding across Ventura and Los Angeles Counties. But Californians looked for delight — and snowballs — where they could.
Friday, Feb. 24
The view in Pine Mountain Club, Calif., a community that is surrounded by the Los Padres National Forest.
A dusting in the hills above San Jose, Calif., provided an opportunity for snowball making and selfies.
A transformed landscape in Angwin, in California’s Napa Valley.
Sweeping away the rainwater in front of a shop along the Venice Beach Boardwalk in Los Angeles.
The now snow-capped hills above San Jose.
Part of Mount Tamalpais State Park, just north of the Golden Gate Bridge, was closed for snow. The park warned of sleet and slick trails.
The Hollywood sign is seen through clouds in Los Angeles. Meteorologists reported snow or graupel falling near the sign, a rare sight.
Atziel Guzman, right, played in the snow with his father, Rafael Guzman, in Angwin, Calif., in Napa County.
A dusting of snow on vineyards in Calistoga in the Napa Valley.
Thursday, Feb. 23
A snow-covered road in the Angeles National Forest near La Cañada Flintridge, Calif.
A resident skiing at Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve, a nature preserve in San Mateo County, Calif.
A flurry of snow fell on homes in the San Bernardino Mountains.
People walking along a snow-covered stretch of Twin Lakes State Beach in Santa Cruz, Calif.
A snow plow truck driving along the Angeles Forest Highway near La Cañada Flintridge.