The coldest storm of the winter season hits the LA mountains


The coldest storm of the winter season will dump snow and ice in the mountains of Los Angeles County, according to an urgent advisory from the National Weather Service issued Monday.

The region should expect 1 to 3 inches of snow, with up to 5 inches possible in the San Gabriel Mountains, from 6 a.m. Tuesday through noon Wednesday, the advisor warned. Mountain areas affected include those in San Luis Obispo County, Santa Barbara County, Ventura County and Los Angeles County, excluding the Santa Monica Range.

“When you go to the mountains, you have to be prepared. People have to be very, very careful,” said David Sweet, meteorologist with the National Weather Service, Oxnard.

Snow, ice and winds of up to 40 mph make driving dangerous on Interstate 5 from Grapevine to Castaic, on Highway 14 through Soledad Canyon and on Highway 33 over the mountains of Ventura County.

“Traffic will be impacted and closures could be in place depending on how much snow and ice accumulates on the roads,” Sweet added.

The winter storm, which descends into the Sierra from the northeast but doesn’t severely affect California’s coastal regions, is already making travel through the Sierra Nevada passes difficult. Chain controls are now in place over the peak areas of the Sierra, including Interstate 80, according to the National Weather Service.

Officials are warning drivers not to travel with extra groceries, warm clothing and chains for their tires. The National Weather Service expects the cold weather to spread to Antelope Valley and Cuyama Valley as the storm approaches.

The cool temperatures follow a month and a half of near-zero rainfall across the region and much of the state, along with some record high temperatures. On February 12, UCLA recorded a high of 89 degrees, one degree higher than the previous 1971 record for that day. Los Angeles International Airport also hit a record 89 that day. The coldest storm of the winter season hits the LA mountains

Tom Vazquez

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