PHOTOS: Hail blankets sand and pier in Huntington Beach in layer of white

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HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. — A strong winter cold front blasted through Southern California and left something rarely seen: A blanket of what appeared to be snow covering the sand in Huntington Beach.

Lifeguards said the “snow” that covered the beach area was actually hail.

The National Weather Service issued a “special marine warning” for a cluster of strong thunderstorms that was centered on Huntington and Newport beaches.

Pea-sized hail was reported and more small hail, the weather service said.