Weekly wrap-up: Elite racehorses feared dead in California wildfires as flames threaten thousands of structures

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, AccuWeather staff writer
December 08, 2017, 9:27:50 AM EST

Fires in Southern California have forced hundreds of thousands to evacuate and have caused damage to tens of thousands of structures this week.

The blazes created apocalyptic scenes in Los Angeles as people drove along busy highways next to raging fires.

Strong Santa Ana winds have created disastrous conditions in the region. The air in Los Angeles was the driest on record, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Wildfires erupted in San Diego County as well, threatening homes, schools and businesses.

A Los Angeles County firefighter puts water a burning house in a wildfire in the Lake View Terrace area of Los Angeles Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017. Ferocious winds in Southern California have whipped up explosive wildfires, burning a psychiatric hospital and scores of other structures. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

Officials believe a dozen or so elite race horses died as flames tore through a training center near San Diego, the Los Angeles Times reported. The stables housed more than 450 horses, which were set free and encouraged to run as a fire overtook the property.

A rare snow fell in parts of southern Texas late this week, including as far south as San Antonio and Houston.

Houston recorded measurable snow for the first time in eight years on Friday morning. San Antonio received nearly 2 inches of snow.

Residents took to social media to share their delight, some calling it a "miracle" and a "blessing" while others uploaded pictures of snowmen and snow angels.

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Intense lake-effect snow fell in parts of western New York this week. AccuWeather Extreme Meteorologist Reed Timmer captured thundersnow in Silver Creek, New York.

Several vehicle slide-offs were reported in Erie County, Pennsylvania, as whiteout conditions unfolded, according to GoErie.com.

The supermoon lit up night skies around the world on Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017, drawing awe from many spectators.

A supermoon is a full moon that falls near or on perigee, the point in the moon’s orbit where it is closest to the Earth. This causes it to appear slightly larger and brighter than normal.

Pictures flooded social media as sky watchers observed the event.

The supermoon rises behind the Uppatasanti Pagoda seen from Naypyitaw, Myanmar, Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017. (AP Photo/Aung Shine Oo)

Professors and students at a Taiwanese university observed a rainbow for an unprecedented nine hours last week.

"It was amazing… It felt like a gift from the sky... It's so rare!" Kun-hsuan told the BBC.

Chou Kun-hsuan, a professor in the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at Chinese Culture University and another professor, Liu Ching-huang, are compiling photos and other evidence to submit to the Guinness Book of World Records.

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