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Friday
May032013

Springtime Noticeably Absent as Parts of US Brave Snow, Wildfires

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- From Southern California, where hundreds of firefighters continue to battle raging wildfires, to Boulder, Colo., where golf greens and outdoor cafe tables remain blanketed in snow, everyone seems to be wondering: “What happened to spring?”

“Spring will be back,” said Nezette Rydell, a meteorologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. “It will be abbreviated this year, but it will be back. This much snow is a little bit on the outer edge of expectations.”

For 10 states, though, spring has been buried under a snowstorm. Denver’s cold temperature record for May 2 was shattered Thursday, as a flash-freeze plunged the low to just 19 degrees.

Owatonna, Minn., resident Greg Gorder said the snow was “unbelievable.”

“I was just, ‘Wow,’” he told ABC News affiliate KSTP-TV. “It’s May and we got this much snow.”

According to the National Weather Service, the storm has dropped more than a foot of heavy, wet snow in the area.

It was bad news for tree branches that couldn’t take the extra weight, as well as a former auto dealership that collapsed in West Concord, Minn.

Elsewhere in the state, troopers and tow trucks kept busy on dangerously frozen highways littered with spinouts.

“You didn’t think this could happen in May, especially when two days ago I was out biking in my shorts,”  Austin, Minn., store manager Josilyn Merritt told ABC News affiliate KAAL-TV. “It’s ridiculous.”

Meanwhile, midway between Malibu and Santa Barbara, Calif., in a dramatic start to the fire season, hot, desert winds that usually come at the end of the summer and early fall arrived four to five months early.

Firefighters went door-to-door Thursday urging residents to leave as winds upwards of 50 mph swept through dry brush. The winds were so strong at times in Camarillo, Calif., the fires were able to travel five miles in just two hours.

With the wildfires growing to 8,000 acres by Thursday evening, hundreds of homes, as well as a college campus, had to be evacuated.

Overall, 2,000 homes have been threatened and 15 sustained damaged, according to the Ventura County Fire Department's Facebook page.

Camarillo resident Joe Kleiner said he’d lost everything – his childhood home now a sooty mess.

He told ABC News he had to remain calm despite the huge loss.

“If I went ballistic or nutso, it wouldn’t solve anything,” he said. “It wouldn’t change the fact the house has been burnt. It’s down. It’s out. Thank God it’s not burning a neighbor’s house and they’re all a-OK.”

As of late Thursday, the fire that started near Camarillo had reached the Pacific Coast Highway and was 10 percent contained.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio