CALIFORNIANS might not have to dream about a “White Christmas” this year.
Rain and snow showers fell in Northern California Wednesday, making the first wave of a wet weather pattern that is supposed to last through Christmas, according to forecasters.
Holiday travel will likely be affected by multiple rounds of rain, mountain snow and gusty winds.
The National Weather Service is urging people to be prepared and give themselves plenty of time when traveling for the holidays.
“Driving safely in #winter weather can be a challenge for even the most experienced driver,” read a tweet from the California Highway Patrol.
“Regardless of the weather conditions, slow down. Vehicles can’t stop as fast or turn as accurately on wet, snowy or icy pavement. Decreased visibility is also a possibility.”
Parts of Sierra Nevada will have Winter storm warnings as early as Wednesday afternoon or by Thursday morning, lasting through Sunday, says the NWS.
Vehicles are already being required to have chains on their tires through the Sierra, per the California Department of Transportation.
There has also been light to moderate rainfall around the San Francisco Bay Area which has been slowly spreading to the coast.
Widespread rain isn’t expected in Southern California until Thursday. Forecasters say a flood watch would be in effect from Thursday evening to Friday morning because of excessive rainfall.
HAS CALIFORNIA EVER HAD A WHITE CHRISTMAS?
Neither San Francisco nor Los Angeles have ever had a White Christmas but it has snowed in winter.
San Francisco has had four snow days in recorded history, though none have occurred in the past several decades.
Most snowfalls occurred in the 19th century. February 5, 1887, had 3.7 inches of snow, while 1.5 inches were recorded on February 7, 19984.
Another inch fell in the city on March 3, 1896.
On December 11, 1932, 0.8 inches of snow fell in the city. The last recorded snowfall in San Francisco was on February 5, 1976, but it wasn’t recorded how many inches fell that day.
Downtown Los Angeles recorded 2.0 inches of snow on January 15, 1932.
The other times snow fell were only a light dusting in January 1949 and 1954.
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