- Associated Press - Monday, May 8, 2017

LOS ANGELES (AP) - A wet and wild spring storm that swept through Southern California set rainfall records, dumped hail on an awards show red carpet and delivered up to 10 inches (25 centimeters) of snow in the mountains.

“It was some freaky weather,” said John Mandel, a clerk at Palomar Mountain General Store in San Diego County. “The tourists didn’t pack their sweaters. Nobody expects this in May.”

He said the dense, wet snow brought down trees and made for treacherous driving over the weekend in the community located 6,000 feet (1,800 meters) above sea level in Cleveland National Forest.

Closer to sea level, thunderstorms on Sunday gave San Diego’s Petco Park its first baseball rainout since 2015.

Health officials advised swimmers and surfers to stay out of the ocean because of storm runoff. Bacteria levels can increase significantly during and after rainstorms as contaminants wash into the ocean via storm drains, creeks and rivers.

In Los Angeles County, a rainfall record of .39 inches (1 centimeter) was set Sunday at Long Beach Airport.

The afternoon storm interrupted the red carpet event of the MTV Movie & TV Awards outside Los Angeles’ Shrine Auditorium, when celebrities ran for cover from heavy downpours and hail. Downtown Los Angeles received .32 inches (0.8 centimeters) of rain and areas to the north got about an inch.

After getting used to last week’s summer-like temperatures, people turned to social media to document the crazy weather, sharing videos of pea-sized hail pelting cars and covering highways.

The low-pressure system brought temperatures down to the mid-30s in high desert and mountain areas, where rain and snow could linger through Tuesday.

The forecast also called for strong winds and rough seas. The National Weather Service issued flooding and high surf warnings for Los Angeles and Ventura counties.

After five years of drought, California saw record-breaking precipitation during the winter and spring.


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