Steph Deschamps / February 28, 2023
Californians, accustomed to the uniform of sandals and shorts, will have to cover themselves on Thursday because of a blizzard approaching Los Angeles – the first in more than 30 years -, while the U.S. East Coast is experiencing summer temperatures. More than two meters of snow could whiten the hills around the City of Angels, according to the U.S. Weather Service (NWS), which warned of “extremely hazardous mountain conditions. »
The blizzard warning, which takes effect Friday morning, is the first of its kind in the region since 1989. Los Angeles’ palm trees are not expected to get any flakes: the city center remains out of the snowfall zone, but it is surrounded by mountains. Up high, strong winds combined with snow will make travel “difficult to impossible,” according to the weather service. California was hit by a series of deadly storms in early January.
Other American regions with a generally harsher winter were not spared Thursday by the harsh weather conditions. The Great Lakes region, near the Canadian border, was experiencing power outages. More than 900,000 homes were without power, according to the specialized site Poweroutage.
Ice that forms around power lines makes them more vulnerable to gusts of wind, according to weather experts. A volunteer firefighter was killed when a power line fell in the northern state of Michigan, local media reported.
Fickle weather is also making travelers unhappy, with more than 1,000 flights to and from the U.S. canceled, according to travel website Flightaware. The northern part of the East Coast was also threatened by a winter storm on Thursday, with difficult travel conditions in parts of New York State, which was already plagued by an intense winter storm in December. But further south, some areas that were still bitterly cold a few days ago were experiencing July-like temperatures.
In Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, daily heat records dating back to 1872 were broken, with 27 degrees in the federal capital, according to the local weather service. Scientists regularly explain that warming is increasing the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events.