First Alert Forecast

Powerful Storm Brings Heavy Rain, Snow, Tornado Warnings

Flooding and road closures were reported from Santa Barbara County to the Grapevine.

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A cold winter storm will continue to move through Southern California with rain falling into Thursday and snow coming to the mountains and high deserts.

Localized flooding and snowy mountain conditions are expected to linger into Thursday.

As of 10:30 p.m. Wednesday, the 5 Freeway through the Grapevine was closed due to heavy snow between Lake Hughes Road and Grapevine Road. No time of estimated reopening was immediately available.

A Flood Advisory was issued for Ventura County through 1:30 a.m., with ponding expected across many roads.

A tornado warning was issued for parts of Santa Barbara County until 10:30 p.m., and was later canceled as the storm weakened in the area.

A second tornado warning was issued for western Orange County around midnight Thursday morning, but was canceled shortly afterward as the storm eased, leaving heavy rainfall.

Travel on the day after Christmas could be messy, especially through the mountain passes--the Grapevine and the Cajon Pass--and the high desert into the Inland Empire as rain and snow continue to fall Thursday.

A Winter Storm Warning is in effect for the mountains, including the Grapevine & Cajon Pass, until Thursday night with snow totals of 3 to 24 inches possible, depending on elevation. Travel through the major mountain passes will be difficult or impossible, and drivers are urged to stay off the roads or take alternate routes if possible.

Those that must be on the roads are asked to be prepared, pack plenty of patience and drive safely. Chains will be needed if driving into the mountains, but meteorologist David Biggar said the best time to head to the mountains will be after the storm, possibly Friday or the weekend.

High Desert residents will be waking up to snow over the desert floor Thursday.

This storm clears out Friday morning, followed by a return to normal temperatures and sunshine over the weekend.

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