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Rare snowfall in Hollywood as Arctic winds bring cold wave to California

The Hollywood sign is seen through a mix of fog and dust snow during a rare cold winter storm in the Los Angeles area, in Los Angeles, California, U.S., February 24, 2023. (REUTERS)

A winter storm intensified over the US state of California on Friday bringing rare snowflakes around the iconic Hollywood sign in the Los Angeles area as authorities sounded the first blizzard warning in 30 years, according to a Reuters report.

“The last time we saw snow like this in the low elevations was in 2011,” Sarah McCorkle, a National Weather Service (NWS) meteorologist in Monterey, California told Reuters. “It’s a relatively rare event.”

San Francisco also broke a 132-year record for the lowest Feb. 24 temperature ever documented as the mercury dipped to 39 degrees Fahrenheit (4 Celsius) on Friday morning. Tens of millions of residents in the Golden State are under blizzard, wind and flood warnings, according to BBC.

The storms have blacked out nearly a million properties from coast to coast.

The West Coast’s main motorway, Interstate 5, was partially closed south of the Oregon border.

A massive low-pressure system driven from the Arctic was responsible for the unusual conditions, said Bryan Jackson, a forecaster at the NWS Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland.