Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

Mother's Day delivers gusty winds, rain, snow

May 8, 2011 |  1:35 pm

It's springtime in Los Angeles, and the jacaranda are in bloom, baseball season is in full swing, winds are blowing and skiers are heading to Mammoth resorts.

Mother Nature delivered an unseasonable surprise for Mother’s Day: gusty winds, scattered rain and mountain snow.

One-tenth of an inch of rain had fallen in La Cañada-Flintridge and La Crescenta by Sunday morning, the National Weather Service reported, and light rain and drizzle fell downtown and elsewhere.

Lancaster, Palmdale and other parts of the Antelope Valley were expected to see winds gusting to 50 mph by Sunday afternoon and breezier than usual conditions were expected through Monday throughout the region, forecasters said.

More than an inch of new snow had fallen at Mammoth Mountain ski resorts and snow showers -- along with gusty winds, thunder and temperatures hovering near freezing -- were expected through Monday.

Winterlike conditions in May, though not rare, are uncommon, said weather service meteorologist Ryan Kittell.

“We’re typically starting to get into the May, June gloom, but this is actually a little different,” Kittell said. “There’s a big trough of low pressure over eastern California and Nevada, something we see more in the fall or wintertime than in May.”

Ski resorts were delighted by the new accumulations, which added to a record-breaking season for the region. Mammoth had gotten 638 inches of snow through Sunday, eclipsing the old record of 606 inches set in the 1970s, said Rebecca Dunney, a manager at the Mammoth Mountain Inn.

The resort is not set to close until July 4 and is expecting more snow next weekend, Dunney said.

“We had a few people check in on Friday who saw the weather reports and came up,” Dunney said. “We do get a lot of storm chasers.”

All roads into the ski area remained open, the California Highway Patrol reported.

Cool, cloudy conditions were expected to linger through Monday and more unsettled weather, perhaps Father Winter’s last gasp, may arrive toward week’s end.

“Another low-pressure system is supposed to stall off the West Coast, and that’s also pretty unusual for this time of year,” Kittell said.

-- Carla Rivera