Rare Snowstorm dumps on Las Vegas and California
Last Week Canadians found better weather here then in Las Vegas or California!
Forecasters were predicting the Las Vegas Strip could receive more then seven centimetres of snow overnight. Other locations were forecast to receive as much as 20 centimetres of snow in the second winter storm this week to drop snow on the desert city.
Snow piled up around the famous "Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas" sign on the south end of the Strip, as visitors parked and posed for pictures wearing hooded jackets.
In other parts of the Las Vegas valley, snow toppled trees, blanketed rooftops and delighted residents who rarely get to see winter weather.
"Sometimes you have to travel to the mountains to see the snow, and now you don't have to," said Jose Villeda, 38, as he stuck his tongue out to catch snowflakes outside of Lavo, a restaurant and nightclub at the Palazzo hotel-casino.
Snowfall is common in nearby mountains, but not on the Strip or surrounding neighbourhoods.
National Weather Service Meteorologist Andrew Gorelow said seven centimetres of accumulation on the Strip would break the December record of five centimetres set in 1967, but wouldn't match the Las Vegas winter record of 22.5 centimetres set in 1974.
The unusually strong arctic blast dumped snow over a large swathe of Southern California mountains and high deserts, shutting down some of the state's busiest freeways, stranding thousands of motorists and cutting off several communities.
The storm's combination of frigid air, powerful winds and heavy precipitation dropped the snow level to an unusually low 610 metres, with 12.5 centimetres in the hills above Malibu. Forecasters expect the cold to continue as the storm moves out, but another storm is expected to hit the region on Sunday.
Snow and ice shut down three of California's key north-south routes — Interstate 5, Interstate 15 and State Route 14 — along with numerous mountain roads and desert highways.
The closures caused traffic nightmares for drivers trying to get in or out of Southern California. The severity of the storm caught many by surprise, leaving them stranded on the side of freeways, at rest stops and trying to stay warm inside their cars along snow-packed roads. Flooded streets were reported in Palm Springs.