Morehttp://www.mtbaldy.com/live.phpMonday, November 22, 2004Ah yesss, the british columbia Inside Slider...
(11-22) 02:52 PST LOS ANGELES (AP) --
An unusual storm that blanketed Southern California mountains with up to three feet of snow tapered off Monday after stranding motorists along impassable highways and turning desert areas into winter wonderlands.
Morning flurries dumped an additional six inches in mountain communities, with scattered showers expected through the day before the storm moved into southern Arizona Monday night.
"It's finishing its punch," said Ted MacKechnie, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service.
The weather system, which developed in British Columbia and swept into California via Nevada late Saturday, is called an "inside slider" for its rare approach into Southern California, from the northeast instead of the typical route through the Pacific Ocean.
It forced the closure of Interstate 15 through the Cajon Pass for about five hours Sunday morning, and rain-slicked and icy roads were blamed for a number of accidents, including a four-vehicle crash on the 91 Freeway that sent one driver flying from his vehicle.
But the cold front also brought the first snow in many years for low-lying towns such as Murrieta in Riverside County, where children built snowmen and started snowball fights. Chris Sousounis said he was told it would never snow when he moved to the city from Chicago.
"Somebody lied," he told KTLA-TV while using a whisk broom to push piles of snow from the back of his pickup truck.
Over the weekend, at least three inches of snow were recorded in Lake Elsinore and Murrieta and one inch in Temecula. Up to a foot of snow covered desert areas of northern San Bernardino County, while six inches fell in communities such as Yucca Valley and Twentynine Palms.
The storm, part of an upper-level low pressure system, unleashed up to an inch of rain in some valley areas.
In San Bernardino County, snow and ice closed sections of several highways, including Highway 18 from San Bernardino to Crestline and Highway 330 from Highland to Running Springs, said California Highway Patrol dispatch supervisor Doug Showalter. Pea-sized hail fell in parts of Orange County. In Irvine, the storm unleashed strong winds that toppled a eucalyptus tree onto a home. Some of the approximately 20 University of California, Irvine, students who had been sleeping inside suffered minor cuts and bruises.