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Southwest Mobile Storage - Best Mobile Storage & Office Containers In Los Angeles, CA

Southwest Mobile Storage is a family-owned shipping container business founded in 1995. Our strength for more than 25 years comes from the specialized knowledge and passion of our people, along with serving over 24,000 commercial, construction and residential customers. Our facility and expertise in maintaining, manufacturing, and delivering corrugated steel containers is unrivaled in the industry.

While the rental side of our business is regional with branches throughout the Southwest, our container sales and modification operations are nationwide and becoming global. Los Angeles, CA offers a wide selection of portable offices and mobile storage containers you can rent, buy or modify.

Our experts in container rental, sales and customization are committed to providing you the highest quality and best experience from service to delivery - our reputation depends on it.

Whether your need is for storage, office space, moving, multi-purpose or custom use, we've got your back. Here's how:

Storage Containers Los Angeles, CA

What Clients Say About Us



We bring your storage container to you for convenient, easy access at your home, business or jobsite. Plus, you'll get more choice in storage space and better security, for a fraction of the cost of a pod or add on building, saving money and energy.


Not enough room to keep a storage container at your business, home or construction site? No problem - we can store it for you. Plus, you get 70% more space and better security, for a fraction of the cost of public storage units.


Need a permanent storage solution for your business, residence or construction? We sell new and used shipping containers in many sizes with a variety of add-ons. Or customize a container to your specific storage needs with our certified fabrication experts.


Take your time packing with our moving containers. We'll deliver to your business or home and pick it up whenever you're ready to move. So, you don't have to stress about moving or making multiple trips in one day, like if you rented a moving truck.


Our moving container solutions ensure the long-distance move of your home or business is highly efficient and affordable throughout the southwest. In fact, we usually cost 20%-40% less than full-service movers.


We understand move-in and move-out dates might be different. We can store your moving container at our highly secure facilities until you're ready to move to your new home or business location, and you can conveniently access it at any time.


Whether you need a workspace, conference room, or other office requirement, our ground-mounted mobile offices meet any and all of your business needs. Plus, it's faster and easier than building additions.


If you need your shipping container to serve multiple uses, such as office-storage combos, breakrooms and even utilities, we've got you covered. We'll modify a custom container to fit your business needs and bring your business to the next level


We'll create a custom container to fit your unique needs anywhere in the US. With our container modification expertise, we make any idea a reality. From pop-up stores to multi-story structures, our unrivaled facilities and fabrication experts do it all.

You'll get your own dedicated storage and container expert to serve as your one point of contact for easy, convenient service you can trust.
With our wide selection of intermodal containers for sale and rent, you'll find exactly what you need, from size, to type and condition.
We maintain our rental fleet to the highest standard - our integrity depends on it.
Our certified, experienced Conex container modification experts have more than 500 years combined experience modifying ISO containers.
All of our containers come with high security dual-locking system for no additional charge, so you can rest assured your stored items stay safe and that you don't have to pay extra for it.
At our unrivaled 90,000 sq ft indoor fabrication facility, ensuring your custom shipping container is made exactly to your specifications.
With our level of service, quality and expertise, you won't find a better value anywhere else.
Our portable offices include lighting and electrical outlets, internet hookups, HVAC and were crafted by our in-house steel container fabrication experts for top-quality construction.

Premium Quality - High Security

With Southwest Mobile Storage, you get much more than a POD or typical Conex box. You also get high security, unparalleled service and unmatched container modification expertise and facilities. No other company offers that much.

Shipping containers and storage containers come in a range of sizes. The most common external lengths are 20ft and 40ft with a width of 8ft. ISO Containers are typically 8ft 6in tall, but high cube containers are 9ft 6in tall. We also have steel containers in a variety of sizes from 10ft long to 45ft long to rent or buy, and we can modify shipping containers into any size you want.

 Rent Storage Containers Los Angeles, CA

SMS Mobile Storage Containers have these high quality features:

1/8" thick steel plate bottom side rails
High strength steel supporting cross members
1 1/8" thick hardwood floor with galvanized self-tapping screws
16-gauge corrugated steel walls
16-gauge roof
270-degree swing cargo door(s)
High security dual-locking system*
Spot-grinded, primed & repainted with a beige high-grade water reducible alkyd direct-to-metal enamel*
* Comes standard on all rental units

SMS portable workspace containers have these structural features:

High security window bars, lever & deadbolt set with lock box
Studs & R-19 Insulation covered with wood paneling
1 1/8" marine board floor is covered with a durable single part gray epoxy coating
Dual pane low-E horizontal sliding windows with screens and miniblinds
18 Gauge steel polystyrene core 3-hour fire rated personnel door
All of our workspaces are manufactured in-house and arrive new or restored to factory specifications
Exterior load center operating on 100 Amp single phase 230 Volt power
Light switch, receptacles and 4' light fixtures; all wiring is Romex 12/2
CAT-6 voice and data lines with electrical junction box
HVAC units ranging from 1 ton to 2 ton on rentals; ability to customize up to 10 tons of cooling

Having flexible storage containers options is important, but security is crucial to protect your peace of mind and your possessions.

At Southwest Mobile Storage, we don't believe in leaving things to chance. We want you to rest easy knowing your inventory, documents, tools, equipment and other items are safe 24/7. That is why we equip SMS high-security slide bolt locking systems and lockboxes on our entire fleet of rental freight containers.


High-security slide-bolt locking system and extra-long lock box, giving you twice the security and peace of mind.
No holes to ensure your rental shipping container is wind and water-tight.
No rust for your safety.
14-gauge corrugated steel for strength and reinforcement.

Contact us to speak with a helpful, friendly representative to better understand our full range of capabilities. We are happy to answer any questions you have, go over pricing and set up a time and place to deliver your Conex box. Our quotes are 100% free and you are under no obligation to pay for your consultation.


When you own a business or manage one, it's crucial to have efficient, affordable ways to store inventory and supplies, whether it's to grow your business or adapt to changes in the market, like the many caused by the pandemic.

Renting storage containers to keep at your business eliminates the cost and hassles of sending your staff to offsite storage facilities. Steel containers with roll up doors make storing and retrieving items faster and easier. Auto repair shops and other businesses that need easy access throughout the workday to secure storage for tools, parts, equipment or supplies find renting shipping containers to be the best solution for their business storage needs. Southwest Mobile Storage has your back.

 Storage Containers For Rent Los Angeles, CA

Renting portable offices gives your business more workspace, breakrooms, pop up stores, security booths and more, without the cost and red tape associated with constructing building additions. Plus, a steel storage container fits neatly into one parking space and provides much stronger security than Pods and way more convenience than self-storage units.

If you have a specific need, we can modify shipping containers to build whatever you need to grow your business. Whether it's a portable workspace to run your business, like a pop-up container bar, or a durable facility for scientific research, like a container laboratory, or even a container gym, our unrivaled fabrication facility and modification experts got you covered. Our full-time, in-house staff of certified welders, engineers, electricians, carpenters and painters have over 500 years combined experience modifying thousands of container projects for just about any business use you can imagine.


Offsite storage alternatives cause a mess of hassles and headaches. Expanding office space and storage capacity at your location saves time, money and hassle of making multiple trips offsite.
We offer more choice in security, size and features in steel Conex boxes or ISO shipping containers than a public storage unit or Pod for less cost and far greater service.
We offer flexible, month-to-month rental agreements and prorate by the day after your first 28-day billing cycle.
With us, you get a dedicated account manager you can rely on, so you can focus on running your business than waste time with a different person every time you call that doesn't know or care as much.
While other companies may have some staff for modifying containers, most outsource the work, so you don't know who is actually doing the modifications or how much they're marking up the price.
 Mobile Storage Containers Los Angeles, CA
When you modify a shipping container for your business, you won't have to worry about expensive, lengthy and complicated construction.
We have modified thousands of containers nationwide and internationally for more than 25 years for NASA, US Navy, GCP Applied Technologies, Helix and Sundt to name a few. And rent containers to Amazon, Walmart and many of other nationally recognized brands.
Our extensive staff makes it possible to custom build multiple projects simultaneously and our 90,000 sq ft indoor fabrication facility prevents contaminants from interfering with fabrication, which delivers better quality and precision.


With an extensive in-house staff and 90,000 sq ft container modification facility, we're able to deliver consistently high quality and work on multiple projects simultaneously for a fast turnaround.

Other companies don't have the facility, staff or resources to modify shipping containers and will outsource the work to various shops who may not have the special experience or tools needed to modify the right way.

You can rest assured knowing your custom container is safe in our hands. Our certified weld and quality control inspectors ensure everything is structurally sound and built to your specifications through every step of the process.

Renting a moving container from us makes your move much less stressful because you won't have to rush to pack your whole house into a moving truck in one day. Instead, you can take your time packing over the course of a month.

Our ISO shipping containers are weatherproof and come with vault-like security, so you don't have to worry about theft or damage to your belongings.

You won't get that level of security from U-Haul or other moving truck companies.

Renting a storage container at your home keeps your belongings close and gives you convenient 24/7 access, so you're always able to retrieve the contents of your container when you need to.

We know move in and move out dates don't always line up. We can store your packed rental container at our secure facility until your new home is ready.

With our mobile storage containers for rent in Los Angeles, CA, you can save up to 40% when compared to full-service long-distance movers, while gaining more flexibility in your schedule.


We know your needs may change suddenly. With our extensive inventory and variety of sizes of portable offices and shipping containers to rent, buy or modify in Los Angeles, CA, we provide fast service and the best value possible so it's easy for you to get whatever you need when you need it.

Renting storage containers and portable offices from us gives you more flexibility when it comes to your schedule and options. If you don't have enough space at your current location or simply would prefer offsite storage, you can keep your rental storage and office containers at your location or ours - whichever is most convenient for you. You also get more options to choose from when it comes to size and features, like portable offices with divided rooms for private meetings or office/storage combos for storage and office space in one container. All while costing a fraction of the price of a pod or self-storage facility.

You can also buy new or used freight containers from us and choose from a variety of add-ons, including lights, electricity, doors and windows. Or fully customize a shipping container to save time, money and energy by skipping the expensive, lengthy process of constructing building additions. We can modify a Conex box into whatever you can imagine for any use you need, from construction tool cribs to office buildings, monitoring stations, mobile communication towers and much more. The possibilities are endless.


You'll never face hidden fees or surprises with us. We give you transparent billing up front at the best prices.

With us, you get a reliable, dedicated point of contact, who keeps you updated every step of the way. You can rest assured knowing you'll always get what you need, when you need it.

No other company has the breadth and depth of staff and experience that we do when it comes to modifying shipping containers. Our certified welders, engineers, electricians, plumbers, carpenters and painters have more than 500 years of combined experience in fabricating custom steel containers.

We prorate your rent by the day after the first 28-day billing cycle, so you don't have to pay for a full month when you only have your mobile containers and offices for a few days.

While other companies may be able to do small container modifications, most don't have an in-house fabrication staff or 90,000 sq ft fabrication facility like we do. As a result, they outsource the work on your custom container, so you don't know who's actually building it.

Rest assured knowing your modified shipping container will be built to the highest quality standards. Our certified weld and quality control inspectors check every step of the fabrication process to ensure everything is structurally sound and built to your specifications.


Whether you're in need of a storage container for your commercial business, a portable office for your construction site, or a moving container for your home, our process is simple and straightforward.

Choose Your Container

Choose the mobile storage solution that works best for your needs. In this step, you will let us know the number of containers you need, their sizes and what types of doors to equip.

Choose Your Options

Let us know if you would like to add any of our rental options, like a folding table or shelving.

Choose Your Security

Choose from padlocks, puck locks and other enhanced security options. All of our storage containers come standard with dual-locking, vault-like security.

Choose Your Delivery Timeframe

You can expect standard delivery within 3-5 days of your order. If you need expedited delivery, we will do everything in our power to accommodate your needs.

Pick-Up Planning

Do you need to keep your shipping container at our location? Prefer to have our team deliver your packed container to a location of your choice? Let us know, and we'll be by your side to work out the logistics.




Let our team know where we should deliver your mobile storage container for rent in Los Angeles, CA. Be sure to let us know if there are any special conditions that might prevent our drivers from entering your chosen destination. Before you schedule your delivery, let us know which direction you would like the doors of your container to face.



Our drivers can deliver your storage container Monday-Friday, between the hours of 6AM and 2PM local time. Our two-hour delivery window is the most precise in the industry. If you desire another delivery time outside of our standard delivery options, we will do our best to accommodate your needs. As a courtesy, our driver will call you at least 30 minutes before they arrive at your drop-off destination.



Before we deliver your Conex box, prepare your delivery area by ensuring that there are no low overhangs, arches, wires, trees or any other obstacles that could interfere with your delivery. It's a good idea to mark the space where you would like your steel container placed.



When our driver arrives, they will back our truck into the space where you would like your shipping container placed. Once we arrive, we will ensure that your container is delivered safely and securely. If placed on asphalt or pavement, we will use wood dunnage pads to make sure your ground surface is protected and the container is level.


Check out our FAQ page or reach out to our helpful customer service team today @


Latest News in Los Angeles, CA

Winter storms likely to bring Los Angeles its longest cold snap in almost 20 years

Los Angeles is on track to experience its longest cold snap in almost 20 years this week as another winter storm blasts the region with more low-elevation snow, strong winds and significant rain.If forecasts pan out, Wednesday will be the eighth day in a row that downtown L.A. hasn’t topped 60 degrees — a chilly streak not seen in the city since 20...

Los Angeles is on track to experience its longest cold snap in almost 20 years this week as another winter storm blasts the region with more low-elevation snow, strong winds and significant rain.

If forecasts pan out, Wednesday will be the eighth day in a row that downtown L.A. hasn’t topped 60 degrees — a chilly streak not seen in the city since 2005, according to the National Weather Service’s daily forecast discussion.

Los Angeles’ normal average for the month is 69 degrees, making this recent streak well below normal, said Ryan Kittell, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Oxnard.

“It’s been pretty darn cold,” Kittell said.

Though this streak could tie a similar eight-day cold snap in January 2005, it pales in comparison to the longest on record: 20 straight days under 60 degrees in 1949, according to Kittell.

Slight warming expected to begin by Thursday should break the streak far short of that record, Kittell said.

The lower temperatures, coupled with the moisture from a low-pressure system hanging over the state, could once again bring low-elevation snowfall to Southern California after last week’s rare event brought fresh powder to areas even lower than 1,500 feet, such as near the Hollywood sign.

Foothill communities including La Crescenta-Montrose, La Cañada Flintridge and Santa Clarita, as well as in the Antelope Valley, could see some snow by Wednesday morning, Kittell said.

“The amount of moisture is less, so we don’t expect a total repeat of what we had last week,” he said. “But they could see more snow.”

Snow levels Tuesday afternoon are forecast between 3,500 and 4,000 feet in elevation but are expected to drop rapidly to as low as 1,500 feet early Wednesday. At the highest elevations, up to 2 feet could fall by Wednesday from this latest storm on top of multiple feet on the ground from the last system — from which officials and residents are still working to recover.

A winter storm warning is in effect Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday for the mountains of Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties, with reduced visibility from snow likely to make travel “difficult to impossible,” the warning said. The weather is likely to cause disruptions along the Grapevine, the highest portions of Interstate 5 and the 14 Freeway going into the Antelope Valley, Kittell said.

Feb. 28, 2023

“The roadways will be the biggest concern,” he said.

San Bernardino County has declared a state of emergency because of the weather.

“The weight of recent snow combined with strong winds may down trees and power lines,” the winter storm warning for the mountains said.

Rainfall in lower elevations is also expected to be notable but manageable, Kittell said. The coasts and valleys can expect around 1 inch of rain through Wednesday from this storm system, and the foothills and mountains could see up to 3 inches.

Peak rain and snowfall are expected late Tuesday through Wednesday morning, Kittell said.

The latest storm has continued to cause damage across the region — despite being weaker than the previous system — with reports of downed trees, pockets of power outages and small mudslides early Tuesday.

L.A. firefighters responded to a dangerous debris flow on Mulholland Drive, closing the road between Deep Canyon Drive and Coldwater Canyon Avenue. The mud and debris damaged at least one home and one utility pole, but no one was injured, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department. Residents of some nearby homes were “calmly evacuated as a precaution,” the department said.

Due to the two recent storms, the city’s Street Services bureau has been inundated, with more than 2,000 calls for service in the last six days, according to Hector Banuelos, a street tree superintendent with Bureau of Street Services’ Urban Forestry Division.

“It’s been a bit crazy,” Banuelos said Tuesday. He said his division typically gets 20 or 30 calls a day to deal with downed trees and broken branches, among other tree issues — but this last week has seen a daily average of more than 300. Calls during the last storm “just exploded” on Saturday and continued at extremely high rates through Monday, he said. The high winds were especially rough on trees, uprooting many throughout the city, Banuelos said.

“We’re at a little lull right now,” he said. “It’s kind of giving us a chance to catch our breath.”

He said he’s hopeful the next 24 hours won’t bring significant weather to L.A., so his team can catch up on the almost 400 calls to which they still haven’t been able to respond.

“We’re busy, I have crews out right now,” Banuelos said. “We’re trying to get a handle on things.”

Weather officials forecast a “warming and drying trend” beginning Thursday, though more wet weather could return sometime next week.

Rare blizzard warning issued for Los Angeles area, officials say: California weather updates

This story recaps the forecast and weather on Feb. 22. Check our latest weather forecast for Thursday, Feb. 23.Blizzards and winter weather are overtaking parts of Southern California, a region most known for its inviting weather.Snow and freezing temperatures are expected throughout much of the state over the next few days, with a...

This story recaps the forecast and weather on Feb. 22. Check our latest weather forecast for Thursday, Feb. 23.

Blizzards and winter weather are overtaking parts of Southern California, a region most known for its inviting weather.

Snow and freezing temperatures are expected throughout much of the state over the next few days, with advisories in effect in the Bay Area near San Francisco and further north through to the state line, according to the National Weather Service.

Californians join the more than 20 million Americans under winter storm warnings and 35 million people across the country under winter weather advisories this week, according to NWS.

Here’s what you need to know about California’s winter weather.

Unsheltered people brace for storm:LA homeless advocates rush to help those on the streets as winter storm nears

Blizzard warnings in the mountains over Los Angeles

Los Angeles and Ventura County residents living in mountains above the city of Los Angeles were advised to travel only for emergencies Wednesday morning as the area expected wind gusts up to 75 mph to whip in heavy snow and virtually eliminate any visibility. The blizzard and winter storm warnings, in effect until Saturday afternoon morning, said 2 to 7 feet of snow was expected to accumulate by Saturday night, with up to 12 inches at higher elevations.

Some areas also expected rains on Thursday and Friday. The Los Angeles NWS said Wednesday it knew of only one other blizzard warning issued for the area, in 1989.

Light snow had begun to fall on the Interstate 5 Grapevine mountain pass connecting the Los Angeles area to central California, the weather service said.

Winter weather and winter storm advisories were also in effect for San Bernardino and Riverside counties further inland from Los Angeles, and for parts of San Diego county further south.

California drought eased?:Before and after photos show recovery at drought-stricken California reservoir

Freeze warning in San Francisco Bay area

Sub-freezing temperatures as low as 20 degrees were expected in some parts of the Bay Area along with wind gusts up to 50 mph, the NWS said.

Freeze warnings were expected to remain in effect until 9 a.m. Thursday.

Residents were advised to move vulnerable plants and pets indoors to protect them from the freezing temperatures, and to prevent any outdoor pipes from bursting by draining them.

Most of Northern California under severe weather advisories

Eureka, Redding, Chico and other communities in northern California were all under winter storm, winter weather watches or advisories Wednesday.

NWS said all of northwestern California expected hail and light to heavy snow from Tuesday night through Thursday.

Power outages across California amid strong winds

Close to 100,000 customers were without power in California Wednesday morning, according to PowerOutage.Us, as parts of the state contended with strong winds.

The Pacific Gas and Electric Company said Tuesday night it would mobilize personnel to prepare from outages resulting from poor weather conditions.

California power outage tracker:Over 110,000 customers without power as strong winds hit

US weather watches and warnings

Contributing: Jordan Mendoza, USA TODAY

Why SoCal’s winter storm is so unusual: Rain, big waves, rare blizzard warning

Southern California has only gotten a taste of the powerful winter storm system that forecasters say will bring an extended period of cold temperatures, high winds and snow, prompting what officials called the region’s first blizzard warning since 1989.The blizzard warning, w...

Southern California has only gotten a taste of the powerful winter storm system that forecasters say will bring an extended period of cold temperatures, high winds and snow, prompting what officials called the region’s first blizzard warning since 1989.

The blizzard warning, which is in effect Friday and Saturday for Southern California’s highest mountain ranges, is likely only the second on record for the Los Angeles area, according to the National Weather Service, Officials initially called this week’s warning the first on record, then later confirmed a blizzard warning was also issued in 1989, when a strong winter storm brought rare snowfall to Southern California, from Palm Springs to the hillsides of Malibu.

That 1989 snowfall has already drawn comparisons to what’s expected this week, said David Sweet, a meteorologist at the weather service’s Oxnard office.

“Between late Thursday and early Saturday, we’re looking at a storm delivering more snow than any other snow in recent decades,” Sweet said. “This is an unusual storm for the area.”

Officials are still trying to build an accurate forecast, but snow has already started to fall in the Antelope Valley and along the Grapevine, and forecasters are warning of the possibility of severe and dangerous conditions that could last through Sunday.

The event is expected to be “a snowmaker of the likes we have not seen for many years,” said Andrew Rorke, senior forecaster with the National Weather Service office in Oxnard.

Though the snow will be most concentrated in the mountains, Sweet said, heavy precipitation and winds will span the region, especially Saturday when the “cold core” of the storm will center on Los Angeles.

“It’s going to be a wild and woolly kind of day — the lightning, the thunder, the hail, the graupel,” he said, referring to a type of frozen crystal that can look like snowflakes. “No one is going to be spared.”

Here is what to expect.

The forecast


Cold weather health alert

Safety tips

Here are more tips:

California is being hit by another massive rainstorm. Here’s how to prepare and stay safe

‘Turn around, don’t drown’ and other survival tips for driving in heavy rain

This massive storm may mean blackouts. Here’s what to do before, during and after the power goes out

Historic California storm closes Interstate 5 at the Grapevine

A frigid winter storm barreled into California on Friday, bringing sea-level snow along the coast at Eureka and whiteout conditions in the Sierra as well as bursts of hail, snow and rain in Southern California that are expected to worsen considerably over the next two days.Citing dangerous conditions, Caltrans closed Interstate 5 through the Grapevine early Friday. It is unclear how long the closure will last.Cold temperatures brought snow, hail and graupel to unusually low elevations of the Southland, including at the Hollywoo...

A frigid winter storm barreled into California on Friday, bringing sea-level snow along the coast at Eureka and whiteout conditions in the Sierra as well as bursts of hail, snow and rain in Southern California that are expected to worsen considerably over the next two days.

Citing dangerous conditions, Caltrans closed Interstate 5 through the Grapevine early Friday. It is unclear how long the closure will last.

Cold temperatures brought snow, hail and graupel to unusually low elevations of the Southland, including at the Hollywood sign, slicking mountain roadways and spurring some school districts to cancel classes ahead of possible blizzard conditions.

Though the storm may be novel for Northern California, it has the potential to be historic in the southern part of the state, especially Friday and Saturday, UCLA climate scientist Daniel Swain said.

The “highly dynamic” system is likely to bring heavy rain, strong winds, thunderstorms and potential flooding to areas in and around Los Angeles, while snow levels could drop as low as 1,500 feet in the mountains of L.A. and Ventura counties. That’s the elevation of the Hollywood sign, where residents reported a wintry mix had landed Thursday afternoon.

A Blizzard Warning, the first issued by this office, is now in effect for the San Bernardino County Mountains from 4 AM Friday to 4 PM Saturday. Travel will be VERY DIFFICULT TO IMPOSSIBLE due to the extremely heavy snow and extremely high winds expected. #CAwx

— NWS San Diego (@NWSSanDiego) February 23, 2023

“What is really kind of astonishing are the snow totals that are projected for the Southern California mountains and the southern Sierra Nevada,” Swain said.

Snowfall in some mountain areas could reach 3 or 4 feet over two days, with as much as 8 feet possible on certain mountain peaks.

The National Weather Service has issued rare blizzard warnings for the L.A., Ventura and San Bernardino county mountains beginning early Friday, warning of heavy snow, high winds and limited visibility. It’s only the second such warning on record for the mountains of L.A. and Ventura counties, and the first for San Bernardino County’s peaks. An evacuation warning was issued in portions of Ventura County until 10 a.m. Saturday, with officials warning of the potential for flooding and debris flows due to heavy rain and snow.

“This well may be the largest single-event snowfall in some parts of Southern California since the 1980s,” Swain said. “This is a big deal.”

Feb. 23, 2023

In the state’s northwesternmost corner, Del Norte County schools closed Thursday because of the unusual winter weather.

“This is the first snow day we have had in the 31 years I have been with the district,” said Assistant Supt. Jeff Napier.

To Del Norte’s south, overnight snow blanketed much of Humboldt County on Thursday morning, from sea level to mountaintops. Roughly 3 inches had fallen on the roads, parks and farms of Eureka, Ferndale and other low-lying communities, while a growing 2 to 3 feet covered the mountains.

All of Humboldt County’s snowplows were out shoveling, said Public Works Director Thomas Matson. “I’d say once every 10 years we get some snow at sea level,” he said. “Though this is the thickest I’ve seen it.”

Caroline Titus, the owner, publisher, editor and reporter at the Ferndale Enterprise in Humboldt County, said the snow had turned her coastal town into a winter scene.

“There’s lots of people building snowmen,” she said. “Everybody’s out and about and checking it out, taking photos. It’s very rare.”

Titus said she’d seen this kind of snow only once before, about 22 years ago.

“Maybe there was a light dusting in 2019,” she said. “But nothing like this.”

In the North Coast’s higher elevations, snow quickly became a challenge on many mountain passes, closing a large section of U.S. 101 from Humboldt to Del Norte County early Thursday, then a different section in Mendocino County later in the day, according to the California Department of Transportation.

Lake, Mendocino, Napa and Sonoma counties had fresh snowfall at notably low elevations, around 500 to 1,000 feet, Swain said, with reports of some flurries in the hills of the East Bay Area.

“There could be a couple of surprises tonight in the Bay Area or the Central Valley,” Swain said. “There might be a few places even below 500 feet that see certainly flakes in the air and maybe even a little bit of accumulation.”

But across the higher elevations, even just at or above 1,500 feet, Swain said snowfall could become heavy late Thursday, posing a risk for major roadways from the Sacramento Valley to the Santa Cruz Mountains and beyond.

In parts of Southern California, snow levels dropped to 1,500 feet Thursday, dusting the mountains and interior foothills, while higher elevations braced for hefty snow Friday through late Saturday.

Light snow was falling in Palmdale on Thursday morning, and roads were icy in the Inland Empire.

The wintry conditions were making a mess of traffic in the state, including a reported 20-car pileup in Yucaipa that sent eight people to the hospital and a crash along Highway 189 in Crestline that left more than a dozen drivers stranded in the snow. Caltrans maps showed dozens of major road closures Thursday evening, including both directions of the I-80 corridor near the Nevada border.

Whiteout conditions and spin-outs in the Truckee area shut down the interstate, said Chris Falkowski, a California Highway Patrol officer in the area. He couldn’t say when the highway would reopen.

“Whenever Mother Nature says we’re done,” Falkowski said. “If you don’t have to be up here, don’t bother. You’re just going to add to the problem.”

Forecasters also predicted gusty winds of up to 35 mph could generate 2- to 4-foot waves in the waters of Lake Tahoe into Friday. “That’s a significant amount of wind for a lake and producing those wave heights,” said Colin McKellar, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Reno.

About 12 to 18 inches of snow are expected to fall in South Lake Tahoe between Thursday and Saturday, he said. Snowfall is expected to pick up again Sunday afternoon until Tuesday night or Wednesday morning. “Right now, preliminary amounts are between 2 and 3 feet at lake level.”

Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia closed Thursday due to the weather, as did Mt. Baldy Resort.

Heather West, a waitress at the Mt. Baldy Lodge, which sits at a significantly lower elevation than the resort, said she expected to work through the storm if possible.

“I’ll be up here as long as [the California Highway Patrol] doesn’t close down the road,” she said. Her manager had discussed plans to bus staff to the lodge so they wouldn’t have to drive on treacherous roads.

Mt. Baldy ski lifts generally shut down only for high winds, West said. But having grown up frequenting the resort, she acknowledged, “you never know with this road.”

Snowfall totals of 2 to 5 feet are forecast for the mountains above 5,000 feet, and 6 to 18 inches at elevations of 3,500 to 4,500 feet, according to the weather service. Officials are warning about downed trees, power outages and dangerous mountain roads in the days ahead, as well as the potential for avalanches.

Despite the temptation to take advantage of the fresh powder in the mountains, Swain and other officials warned that it was best to stay home.

“This is not a weekend you’re going to be able to go up and ski — no one is going to be able to get in or out, potentially for days,” he said. “And so if you live up there, be prepared for a phenomenal amount of snow.”

The storm is also expected to deliver rainfall totals of 2 to 5 inches in Southern California’s coasts and valleys and up to 10 inches in the mountains through Saturday evening.

With the heavy rain, officials are warning of the threat of mudflows in wildfire burn scars. In Duarte, the L.A. County Department of Public Works issued a mudflow alert for the area of last summer’s Fish fire, closing a stretch of Mel Canyon Road.

A flood watch is also in effect in portions of Santa Barbara and Los Angeles counties between Thursday night and Saturday, with peak rain rates of 0.75 of an inch per hour possible.

Times staff writers Terry Castleman, Dorany Pineda and Ruben Vives contributed to this report.

Houston, UCLA, Kansas top AP men's basketball poll

UCLA is surging, both toward the postseason and in the Associated Press men's college basketball poll.While Houston was No. 1 for a third straight week in Monday's poll, the Bruins rose two spots to No. 2 for their highest ranking of the season. UCLA (27-4) has won its past 10 games, including a showdo...

UCLA is surging, both toward the postseason and in the Associated Press men's college basketball poll.

While Houston was No. 1 for a third straight week in Monday's poll, the Bruins rose two spots to No. 2 for their highest ranking of the season. UCLA (27-4) has won its past 10 games, including a showdown with highly ranked Arizona in the regular-season finale behind star Jaime Jaquez Jr. to complete a perfect home record.

"I will say this, the recipe for success in March usually -- I mean, aside from talent -- is a great point guard and some senior leadership, like a guy like Jaime Jaquez," UCLA coach Mick Cronin said afterward. "I mean, we've got a chance. But as you know, that tournament's crazy. It isn't 'March Normal.'"

Kelvin Sampson's Cougars remained firmly entrenched at the top in their third stint at No. 1 this season, earning 58 first-place votes, with the other three going to UCLA.

Houston hadn't reached No. 1 before this season since 1983 during the Phi Slama Jama era, but the Cougars have now spent a total of seven weeks at the top to tie Purdue for the most of any team this season.

Houston (29-2) closed out its regular-season schedule by winning at Memphis on a last-second basket Sunday, marking its 11th straight win.


The only change in the top five came with UCLA trading places with No. 4 Alabama, with Kansas remaining at No. 3 despite a loss at Texas in Saturday's regular-season finale and the Boilermakers staying at fifth.

Marquette stayed at No. 6, followed by the Longhorns climbing two spots to No. 7. Arizona, Gonzaga and Baylor rounded out the top 10.


Texas A&M is the week's biggest climber, leaping six spots to No. 18 after beating Alabama in its regular-season finale. That's part of a strong finish under fourth-year coach Buzz Williams, with the Aggies going 17-3 since mid-December and losing just once since the start of February. Before this season, Texas A&M hadn't been ranked since February 2018.

In all, eight teams climbed from last week's positions.


Tennessee took the week's biggest tumble, falling five spots to No. 17 after losing at Auburn in its regular-season finale and its first full game since losing Zakai Zeigler to a season-ending knee injury. Indiana was next, falling four spots to No. 19 after losing at home to Iowa by 22 points.

In all, six teams slid from their rankings last week.


Nearly one-third of last week's ranked teams (eight) stayed in their same positions, including No. 13 Virginia, No. 22 TCU and No. 23 Kentucky.


The week's three additions are all returnees to the poll, headlined by No. 21 Duke.

The Blue Devils (23-8) returned to the poll for the first time since falling out in mid-January after opening the year at No. 7. First-year coach Jon Scheyer has led Duke to six straight wins to close out the regular season, including Saturday's win at North Carolina for a rivalry sweep that wounded UNC's iffy NCAA tournament hopes.

Creighton checked in at No. 24, returning after a one-week absence for a third stint in the poll this season. Next came 25th-ranked Missouri, which won its last four regular-season games to return to the poll after spending two weeks there in the first half of January.


Providence (No. 20), Maryland (No. 21) and Pittsburgh (No. 25) dropped out this week. All three will be playing in their conference tournaments this week.


The Big 12 and SEC shared the lead this week with five ranked teams each, though three of the Big 12's group were inside the top 10.

The Big East was next with four ranked teams, including No. 11 UConn. The Atlantic Coast Conference had three, followed by the Big Ten, Pac-12 and West Coast conferences with two each.

The American Athletic and Mountain West conferences each had one ranked team.


Next week's poll marks the final edition for the 2022-23 season.


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