Storm Spawns Snow and Hail; More Rain Due
Snow, hail and sleet fell in the foothills, high deserts and mountains of Southern California on Friday as a cold front moved through, spawning showers and thunderstorms, dropping highs into the low 50s and generating cool, breezy weather.
The system, on a storm track out of the Gulf of Alaska, was expected to move out of the area today, leaving mostly sunny skies and warmer weather, with high temperatures generally in the 60s.
But another storm is expected to arrive this weekend.
Meteorologist Steve Burback of WeatherData Inc., which provides forecasts for The Times, said the new cold front is expected to hit Northern California today and Central California on Sunday and arrive in Southern California Sunday night or Monday.
Residents in the Antelope Valley awoke Friday morning to find snow on the ground. Palmdale reported that about two inches had accumulated during the night. The snow resumed at midafternoon Friday, then tapered off.
Snow on the mountains was visible from downtown Los Angeles.
Heavy snowfall caused a series of accidents along the Grapevine on Interstate 5,the Highway Patrol reported. At least one person was critically injured in a pileup near Lebec, just north of the Los Angeles County line, CHP Officer Mark Ehly said.
At least six trucks jackknifed on the icy roadway, Ehly said, and there were numerous reports of cars spinning out.
Between 100 and 125 cars were stuck about 6 p.m. in snow and ice along a steep grade near Gorman, CHP Lt. Dan Pankey said. The northbound lanes of the freeway were closed temporarily at Lake Hughes Road in Castaic, and the southbound side was closed at Laval Road in Kern County.
Two inches of snow fell on the mountains in the Frazier Park district of the Los Padres National Forest, while farther north about 10 inches blanketed Mt. Pinos. Big Bear Lake recorded at least six inches overnight.
Blowing snow created blizzard conditions on the Grapevine section of Interstate 5 early Friday, forcing the closure of a 30-mile stretch of the highway in both directions for several hours.
Motorists traveling Interstate 15, the main route to Las Vegas, were required to install chains to cross the Cajon Pass, northwest of San Bernardino. The California Highway Patrol also escorted convoys over the 4,260-foot pass.
Generally, rainfall amounts in the Los Angeles Basin were light, with 0.14 of an inch recorded in Pasadena, 0.04 in Riverside, 0.11 in San Juan Capistrano, 0.09 in San Bernardino, 0.08 in Santa Barbara, 0.12 in San Diego. Times staff writer Philipp Gollner contributed to this story.