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1 killed as California pivots from heat to wind, rain, snow

February 16, 2022 GMT

LOS ANGELES (AP) — California’s midwinter summer break gave way Tuesday to dramatically cooler and blustery weather with scattered rain, hail and a dose of much-needed mountain snow.

A truck driver was killed about 12:15 a.m. when his big-rig overturned in high winds on a Mono County highway in the Sierra Nevada, the East Bay Times reported. His passenger was injured.

Wind advisories continued through the day for parts of the Sierra, the Central Valley and southeastern California.

Winter weather advisories were issued for mountain ranges north and east of Los Angeles just days after much of the region sweltered in temperatures that soared into the 80s and 90s.

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Hail turned yards white in Pasadena and parts of LA after a band of thunderstorms swept through Wednesday evening. Brief heavy rain totaling about 0.35 inches (0.89 cm) was possible, the Weather Service said.

Snow fell on Interstate 5 in Tejon Pass in the Tehachapi Mountains north of Los Angeles, and forecasters advised against travel on the route.

Some light rain and drizzle was reported in the San Francisco Bay Area as a cold, low-pressure system moved south through California, which has been dry since a December deluge. Other regions got more precipitation from the storm.

The National Weather Service said the system generally brought 2 to 4 inches (5 to 10 centimeters) of snow to the Sierras, and chain controls were implemented on Interstate 80 for a time.

The UC Berkeley Central Sierra Snow Lab said the 1.6 inches (4 centimeters) of snow that fell overnight ended the longest streak of days without measurable precipitation at its site during meteorological winter. The new record is 37 consecutive days.