Updated Feb 27, 2023 - Science

California faces another blizzard as severe storms hit the Plains

An aerial view of landslide damage that yellow-tagged two homesafter a mudslide crashed down in La Canada Flintridge Monday, Feb. 27.

Homes in La Cañada Flintridge in Los Angeles County on Monday that were damaged in a mudslide that crashed down onto the properties following relentless rain. Photo: Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

California is facing more extreme weather, while the powerful winter system that had earlier triggered record rainfall, heavy snow and flooding in the Golden State was threatening the Plains with powerful winds and tornadoes Sunday night.

The big picture: The National Weather Service tweeted Sunday evening that the first of two new storm systems hitting northern California with rain and snow was causing "dangerous travel conditions," with blizzard warnings to take effect early Monday in the Sierra Nevada — where 4 to 7 feet of snow was set to fall this week.

Threat level: "Travel will be extremely dangerous to impossible with extended road closures likely," NWS Sacramento said in its blizzard warning, which will remain in effect until 4am Wednesday.

  • Power outages, downed trees and white-out conditions were expected due to gusty winds along with heavy and blowing snow — and "very high snow rates" of 2 to 4 inches an hour were possible for Monday through Tuesday, according to the local NWS office.
  • The NWS Los Angeles office noted another weaker storm would impact the area with more rain and snow over Sunday night through Wednesday.
A screenshot of a Caltrans tweet stating: " SR-39 remains CLOSED due to snow starting at mile post 28.5 (north of East Fork Road) in Angeles National Forest.  Photos below show workers clearing a rock slide on a section of SR-39 further south earlier today."
Photo: California Department of Transportation District 7 (Los Angeles & Ventura Counties)/Twitter

Meanwhile, the NWS Storm Prediction Center warned parts of the southern Plains of a dangerous, fast-moving thunderstorm system known as a derecho event.

  • Tornado and wind warnings were issued for Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma over Sunday night.
  • There were reports of damage to buildings and power outages in Norman after a confirmed tornado struck the Oklahoma city on Sunday night. A suspected tornado was also reported near Amarillo, Texas, earlier in the evening.
A screenshot of an NWS tweet stating "Additionally, widespread damaging winds are possible from the southern Plains to the Ohio/Tennessee Valley between this afternoon and Monday night. Over 68 million residents are estimated to be within a High Wind Warning or Wind Advisory."
Photo: NWS SPC/Twitter

Thought bubble: Research shows climate change is increasing the likelihood and intensity of extreme precipitation events in the U.S. and across the world, including heavy snow when temperatures are cold enough.

Of note: Nearly 135,000 customers were still without power in Michigan at 3am Monday ET following last week's high-impact ice storm, according to utility tracker Poweroutage.us.

Go deeper... In photos: Storm sweeps California bringing heavy snow, record rainfall

Editor's note: This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.

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