Filed: January 25, 1999
By MATTHEW YI
Associated Press Writer
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (AP) — There was a snowman in every
yard and snowplows most people didn't know existed. There were
massive traffic snarls, power outages and then the slush.
There hasn't been any measurable snow in Bakersfield in nearly 25
years — March 8, 1974. But Monday brought six inches of snow
to the agriculturally rich San Joaquin Valley.
" Snowplows clearing Highway 99 got double takes from
motorists as well as seasoned CHP officers unaware snow clearing
equipment could be found in the Central Valley, just 300 feet above
"I haven't seen snow in the Central Valley here since the
late 1960s," Visalia CHP Officer Carrol Barker said after the
California Department of Transportation snowplows rolled by. "I
was surprised, you bet."
Six inches of snow fell on Bakersfield's 200,000 residents.
Travel was a nightmare through the southern end of the San
Joaquin Valley and south through Los Angeles and on to the Mexican
The Bakersfield CHP handled 75 crashes Monday, which compares to
about six crashes on a dry day, Wimbish said.
The last time it snowed in Bakersfield was in 1972 —
"It might have been hail though. There's a debate,"
Most said. "What we're getting today is genuine snow.
The only other measurable snow on record in Bakersfield was on
Dec. 1, 1932. Trace amounts have been reported over the years, most
recently on Dec. 21, 1990.