A cold winter storm brought more snow to Southern California's mountains Saturday, creating hazardous driving conditions in some areas.
Heavy snow and rain were reported along the Grapevine section of the 5 Freeway near the border of Los Angeles and Kern counties. California Highway Patrol officers began escorting traffic over the slick road Saturday afternoon.
In late February, the freeway was closed for several hours due to ice and snow. The CHP reported as many as 3,000 vehicles might have been stuck on the road, which was closed on a 30-mile stretch near the Los Angeles and Kern county line.
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The second of this week's two storms will bring periods of rain and snow through at least part of Sunday. Winter storm watches and warnings will be in effect through Sunday morning in the mountains.
Up to five inches of snow fell over 48 hours through Friday evening at Mount Pinos in Southern California's Los Padres National Forest. An inch was reported at the Mountain High ski resort near Los Angeles.
Up to 18 inches of snow could fall above 7,000 feet by early Sunday.
The snow level might drop as low as 3,000 feet. Temperatures will fall a few more degrees, keeping most of the region in the mid to upper 50s.
A winter weather advisory will be in effect until 10 a.m. Sunday in the Los Angeles County Mountains, excluding the Santa Monica Range.
About 6 to 12 inches of snow was expected in the Ventura and Los Angeles County Mountains -- with the heaviest accumulations in the eastern San Gabriel Mountains.
Winds gusting to 50 mph were expected in that area, especially tonight and Saturday night.
Expect slippery road conditions along the 5 Freeway over the Grapevine, Highway 33 through the Grapevine and Highway 2 through the San Gabriel Mountains.
Temperatures should begin to rebound on Sunday with clear skies. Warmer weather is expected to return by Monday.
The week's first system moved down the coast Thursday brought light rain overnight and snow in the mountains.
Van Nuys recorded .37 inches of rainfall as of 4 a.m., according to the National Weather Service. Northridge recorded .18 inches and Hansen Dam recorded .16 inches. Newhall recorded .11 inches and the Santa Fe Dam in the San Gabriel Valley recorded .13 inches of rain. Rainfall totals Friday are expected to be low, with most areas receiving a quarter- to three-quarters of an inch, although the
San Gabriel Mountains could get slightly more.
By Friday morning, the heaviest rain ended after a night when an estimated 75 lightning strikes reported since midnight in Southern California.
The cold systems provide a contrast from Wednesday, when record high temperatures were reported in parts of Los Angeles County. In Woodland Hills, temperatures reached a high of 87, matching a record set in 1946. In Burbank, at Bob Hope Airport, temperatures reached 85, matching a record set in 1972.
All of California remains in some level of drought following predominantly dry months in January and February. The dismal stretch of dry weather followed a late December that saw a conveyor belt of storms soak the region, easing the worst drought conditions throughout California.