26 November 2019 16:34

In the Los Angeles area, steady rain was expected to start late Tuesday night into Wednesday morning.

American Thanksgiving is typically seen as a celebration of the cooperation between the English who settled the continent and the natives who helped them grow crops and saved them from starvation. But as Thanksgiving 2019 approaches, I am struck by another lesson: America's need to come to terms with a history that, as it relates to the treatment of Native Americans, has remarkably few heroes on the side of the white settlers. William Lloyd Garrison, Abraham Lincoln and the millions of whites who supported the civil rights movement in the 1960s may make you feel slightly better about the American experiment. A related lesson of Thanksgiving is that good news can end in bad news, with no real reversal in sight. Arnold Schwarzenegger was the epitome of kindness yesterday as he gave out free turkeys for Thanksgiving.

As well as his charitable and professional endeavors, Arnold has recently been hitting the headlines for a bike ride he embarked on around his native LA. Most airlines, many airports and the TSA all have apps you can use to check on flying conditions, aircraft status and even food for sale. Sometimes getting to the airport is worse than the flight, especially in bad weather. If you clear the lines to check your bags and clear security early, there's more time to read or play with electronics, do yoga or talk to your traveling companions. The lines at your favorite airport eatery are going to be long, so have some snacks ready to eat, especially if you're facing a super-long TSA line.

Forecasters are warning of a stormy Thanksgiving holiday week marked by rain across the state and snow levels so low in elevation they could close major freeways like Interstates 5, 15 and 80. The storm is expected to bring such cold temperatures that snow may accumulate even on the floor of high-desert cities such as Lancaster, Hesperia and Barstow. The forecast has holiday travelers checking their plans and hosts fretting about whether turkey al fresco for 20 could end in disaster. Just two years ago, Los Angeles sat down to a Thanksgiving feast just after the high temperature hit a crispy 92 degrees — an all-time record. This year, San Diego could be facing one of its coldest Thanksgivings since records began being kept in 1874, with a forecast high of just 60 degrees.

And with rain probably persisting in Southern California into Thanksgiving evening, with a slight chance of thunderstorms, the holiday week might lead to the discovery of new roof leaks. But as you imagine a rain-slicked ride to your holiday dinner or a soggy drumstick, there is something positive to say about the wet Thanksgiving forecast. Much of California has been abnormally dry so far this autumn, leaving vegetation tinder dry and threatening to keep fire danger high until rains arrived. Some of California's most recent destructive fires have hit during November and December while rainfall has been absent, such as the Camp fire that ignited on Nov. 8, 2018, destroying much of the town of Paradise and killing 86 people, and the Thomas fire in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, which began on Dec. 4, 2017, burning more than 1,000 structures and killing two. Until this storm, the fall of 2019 has been among the top five driest starts to the water year across Northern California, which began Oct. 1, said Nina Oakley, regional climatologist for the Western Regional Climate Center in Reno.

A large section of California is at or near record low rainfall for the first eight weeks of the water year, which began Oct. 1. "It's not unprecedented to have fires in November or even December in parts of Southern California, but it really is in far Northern California," said Daniel Swain, a climate scientist with UCLA and the National Center for Atmospheric Research. Los Angeles has seen just 42% of the average of 1.48 inches expected by this point in the water year. Unfortunately, scientists say drier autumns and later starts to fall rains are a trend in California's future, which is expected to worsen with climate change. The winter weather will begin hitting California on Tuesday, as a weather phenomenon known as a bomb cyclone will develop off the West Coast. Strong winds are expected on the far northern edge of California on Tuesday, with gusts of 72 mph forecast in Weed, 66 mph in Crescent City and 53 mph in Eureka. The season's first major snow will make its first landfall in the Sierra Nevada on Tuesday afternoon, with most of it falling Tuesday night and Wednesday. Forecasters are highly discouraging travel into the northern and central California mountains after Tuesday midday all the way through Thanksgiving afternoon. All roads to the Lake Tahoe and Mammoth ski resorts could be be difficult or impossible to travel on between Tuesday and Thursday, including Interstate 80 and U.S. Routes 50 and 395. The San Francisco Bay Area is forecast to start seeing rain Tuesday afternoon, with showers tapering off by Thanksgiving. Central California was already dealing with difficult weather conditions Monday ahead of the winter storm, with strong winds blowing over a big rig on Highway 58 in Kern County. Snow is expected to snarl traffic in the Southern California mountains Wednesday. Starting Wednesday night and ending Friday, up to 6 inches of snow could fall along the Grapevine section of Interstate 5. Even areas unaccustomed to winter weather — such as Highway 152, often used by motorists traveling between San Jose and Interstate 5 in the Central Valley — could see snow Tuesday through Thursday. In the Los Angeles area, steady rain was expected to start late Tuesday night into Wednesday morning. Travel into ski resorts in the Big Bear and Wrightwood areas will face trouble starting Wednesday. "It's not going to get any better on Wednesday night or Thanksgiving Day," warned meteorologist Mark Moede of the weather service's San Diego office. The big question for many might be: Will it actually be raining when Thanksgiving dinner is served? In the L.A. region, at least, most of the raindrops from this storm are expected to fall Wednesday and into Thursday morning, but scattered showers are still expected through Thanksgiving night and into Friday, said Keily Delerme, meteorologist with the weather service's Oxnard office.