What to Know: Weather Watches, Warnings, and Closures as SoCal Takes a Pounding

winter-weather-snow-rain-la-2019
Toni Guinyard, Mekahlo Medina, Caltrans

A steady downpour washing over the region the day before Thanksgiving has prompted closures and flash flood watches as Southern California braves a storm. 

The storm is expected to bring three days of rain and snow, heading south from the Gulf of Alaska to swoop over LA, Orange and Inland Empire-located counties. 

Closures

Los Angeles County

The following roads will close at 12 p.m. Wednesday:

  • Big Tujunga Canyon Road from Vogel Flats to Angeles Forest Highway
  • Upper Big Tujunga Canyon Road from Angeles Forest Highway to Angeles Crest Highway
  • Angeles Forest Highway from Aliso Canyon to Angeles Crest Highway

Angeles Crest Highway was not closed as of Wednesday morning, but may depending on conditions.

See more LA County road closures on a map here

Ventura County

The Ventura Pier was closed due to flooding, Ventura police said. Harbor Boulevard between Sanjon Road was also closed.

The Santa Monica Pier was open, however the storm drainage canal to the ocean near the boardwalk was overflowing. The fire department was on the way to assess the situation.

Kern County

Earlier Wednesday morning, the California Highway Patrol was escorting drivers through the Cajon Pass. By 9:45 a.m., traffic was flowing, and escorts were no longer needed. Caltrans and CHP would continue monitoring.

Weather Warnings

Los Angeles County

A flood advisory will remain in effect until 9:15 a.m. in Los Angeles County.

Locations that are expected to experience flooding are Long Beach, Malibu, Rancho Palos Verdes, Van Nuys, and Whittier. 

A winter storm warning would be in effect in the San Gabriel Mountains from 4 a.m. Wednesday until 4 a.m. Friday. Experts warned drivers to expect difficult travel conditions.

A high wind warning was in effect until 10 a.m. in the Antelope Valley. 

There was also a cold weather alert in LA County, where wind chill temperatures could reach below 32 degrees in the following areas:

  • Antelope Valley, through Monday, Dec. 2
  • Los Angeles County Mountain areas, through Sunday, Dec. 1
  • Santa Clarita Valley, Saturday, Nov. 30

"Children, the elderly, and people with disabilities or special medical needs are especially vulnerable during cold weather. Extra precaution should be taken to ensure they don’t get too cold when they are outside,"said Los Angeles County Health Officer Muntu Davis. "We also want to remind people not to use stoves, barbecues or ovens to heat their homes due to the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning."

Orange County

A winter storm warning was scheduled until 10 p.m. Friday in the Santa Ana Mountains.

Inland and coastal areas of Orange County were under a flash flood watch as well. 

Mountain Areas

Drivers heading to Wrightwood, Running Springs and Big Bear will need snow chains. Caltrans warned to bring chains "even if you have AWD or 4-WD."

Sandbags

Residents and businesses can pick up free sandbags, up to 10, courtesy of the city of Santa Ana.

It's a self-service station open at the City of Santa Ana Corporate Yard, 215 S. Center St.

  • Monday – Friday: 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.
  • Saturday – Sunday: 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.

It will also be open Thanksgiving Day, and Friday.

Winter Shelters

Winter shelters were opening for the homeless for the three days of the storm, between Tuesday and Friday. About 500 beds would open at city emergency sites, along with another 100 temporary beds at Athens Park and 100 beds that LAHSA would temporarily add to the year-round shelters it operates.

Rain Timing

Here’s the latest timing of where the cold front is headed (west to east) for the rest of the morning.

Wednesday

Ventura County - through 10 a.m.

LA County - through 1 p.m.

Inland Empire and Orange County – 9 a.m.- 3 p.m.

Wednesday afternoon, residents will see hit or miss rain showers with an isolated thunderstorm chance. Showers and thunderstorm chances will continue overnight.

Snow will accumulate over the Grapevine, meteorologist Shanna Mendiola said.

Thanksgiving

Another round of steady rain will pick up Thanksgiving morning.

The bulk of the rain moves in between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. Thunderstorm chances were higher Wednesday. The Inland Empire and Orange County are at a higher risk of flash floods Thursday afternoon, should a thunderstorm develop there.

Snow will be the bigger factor on Thanksgiving, accumulating to 2 feet. The Grapevine could still see up to half a foot of snow. There's a possibility of desert snow, as well in the Antelope valley.

Black Friday

Expect a small chance of a lingering showers but overall it will be a dry day.

A winter storm warning and flash flood watches will still be in effect.

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