Notoriously dry parts of the US are getting a rare treat this week as a winter storm is bringing snow to desert areas like Joshua Tree National Park and Las Vegas, as well as parts of Los Angeles.

Just outside LA, snow dusted large areas of the desert and caused traffic delays near Joshua Tree National Park. In Vegas, the National Weather Service reported the first significant snowfall in a decade, with 0.8 inches falling at McCarran International Airport. Since the region isn’t used to snowfall of any kind, many areas are finding themselves unprepared.

Christine Crews, a spokeswoman for McCarran Airport, said, “We don’t have snow plows, but we have airfield maintenance vehicles and sweepers ready to go.” Even so, about 100 flights were cancelled due to snow and ice. The storm also forced the closure of Pulliam Airport in Flagstaff, Arizona. And it wasn’t just airports. Portions of roads between Las Vegas, LA, and Phoenix were closed because of snow, black ice, and low visibility.

 

Although the snow undeniably has aesthetic benefits, it can also be credited with erasing drought conditions in California, so it may be worth the inconvenience of road closures and flight cancellations.

H/T: The Guardian

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