A storm causing blizzard conditions, heavy rain and high winds will continue pummeling California this weekend before moving on to Oklahoma and Texas by Sunday.
The National Weather Service warned of flooding risks in both San Diego and Los Angeles on Saturday. Blizzard warnings will remain in effect in mountainous areas surrounding Los Angeles and the Sierra Nevada farther north through Saturday afternoon.
When the storm system reaches Oklahoma and Texas, it’ll be in the form of thunderstorms that carry the possibility of tornados, said Bob Larson, senior meteorologist at AccuWeather.
Those won’t be the only regions affected by storms.
Here’s what you need to know about this weekend’s weather:
Major highway closed due to flooding around Los Angeles
All lanes along several miles of Interstate 5 were closed Saturday morning in Los Angeles County near Glendale due to flooding.
The state department of transportation said it’s unknown when the highway will reopen.
Further north, a famous stretch of the interstate called the Grapevine was closed due to snow and icy road conditions, the transportation department said Saturday morning.
Crews were working Saturday to clear snow from major highways around LA that are closed. Highway 14 in Santa Clarita and State Route 2 north of LA were closed due to snow Saturday morning.
Blizzard conditions will continue to impact the upper elevations of California this weekend.
Already during the storm, snow has fallen as low as the Hollywood sign, mudslides and snow closed major highways and evacuation warnings were issued in parts of Ventura County.
By the end of the storm, as much as 5 feet of snow is expected in some mountains near Los Angeles, creating whiteout conditions as winds gust to 75 mph, and raising the risk of avalanches.
Blizzard warnings — including the first-ever for the mountain areas of Big Bear, Lake Arrowhead and Wrightwood, and another covering the mountains of Los Angeles and Ventura counties — are in effect until 4 p.m. Saturday.
A winter storm warning will remain in effect in those areas until 4 p.m. Sunday.
A live web camera of bald eagles in Big Bear showed steady winds and snow on Friday that often left a thick dusting of white on the birds, which are incubating two eggs that could hatch this spring.
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- Blizzard and winter storm warnings also are in effect Saturday and Sunday, respectively, for the Sierra Nevada in central California, and the Nevada cities of Round Mountain and Tonopah.
- A winter storm watch is in effect in Portland, Oregon starting Saturday evening and lasting until Sunday morning, with accumulations between 1 and 6 inches possible.
- Snow is also expected throughout Colorado, with accumulations up to 3 inches and winds as high as 20 mph in Telluride.
Severe thunderstorms will span 11 central U.S. states early next week
The storm system hitting California will begin to affect Oklahoma centering around Oklahoma City and Kansas on Sunday , bringing hail, damaging winds and the risk of tornadoes.
By Sunday afternoon, the storm will gather strength and continue pushing east toward Missouri and Iowa, AccuWeather forecasters say.
Severe thunderstorms are predicted across the area, with strong winds gusting up to 75 mph. The region will face a risk of tornadoes Sunday night, which is particularly dangerous because residents won’t be able to see a tornado coming in the dark, AccuWeather said.
The storm will continue moving eastward Monday, bringing rain and the risk of flash flooding to Illinois, Tennessee, Kentucky and Indiana, AccuWeather reported.
Winter storm map
Some weak winter storms carry the chance of some light snow for parts of the Northeast this weekend, Larson said.
One storm will push into New England on Saturday, bringing areas of steady light snow and flurries, according to AccuWeather forecasts.
Cities including New York and Philadelphia could see up to an inch of snow, which is only remarkable because they haven’t seen much of the white stuff this year, Larson said.
A second storm affecting New England on Sunday may bring a few inches to Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.
People in most of the Midwest can expect a fairly pleasant weekend, with highs forecast to approach the 50s all weekend in Cleveland and Des Moines.
It’ll be colder in the usual places like St. Paul, Minnesota, Detroit and Chicago. Highs are expected to range between the 20s and low 40s, but the sun should peek out in those cities and parts in between throughout the weekend.