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Heavy snow didn’t stop this semi last Friday from eating up the miles on Highway 14. Parts of the highway above Inyokern received nearly 2 inches on the morning of Friday, February 24. Snow fell once again on Wednesday midday across the Indian Wells Valley. / Laura Austin Photo

NWS issues KC first ever blizzard warning, turns IWV white

By Laura Austin News Review Staff Writer – Heavy snowfall was at its height of recent storms, bringing a new record to Kern County. The first-ever blizzard warning was issued for Kern County by the National Weather Service.  The historic storm made its way through Kern County, starting Tuesday night, February 21, with high winds and plunging temperatures. This system was expected to get progressively worse through Friday, February 24. The storm kept its promise when that morning, much of the Indian Wells Valley awoke to heavy snowfall covering the ground with a blanket of snow. 

According to 23ABC’s Chief Meteorologist Brandon Michaels, “This is not something that happens very often. This is truly a historic event and a very severe storm for us.”

Winter weather brought rainfall and snow to our area and left lasting impacts throughout last weekend and this week. The blizzard warning covered Kern’s southern mountains and lasted until 8:00 last Friday night.  Experts said that if snow started falling at low enough elevations, our southern mountains could have seen near-whiteout conditions. These historic conditions could have made travel dangerous. 

According to the California Highway Patrol, it is recommended that those who need to travel during severe storms check their windshield wipers and tire treads before leaving home and pack extra water, snacks, and blankets for the trip in case of an emergency. Another thing drivers should refrain from is trying to find alternative routes during bad weather. The California mountains are notorious for mudslides and other unstable surprises. Bad weather can make alternate routes even more dangerous than the major highways because less traveled roads hold onto ice longer, making them more treacherous.