Snow briefly shuts down Grapevine as Southern California cold snap persists

Snow covers hills and mountains on either side of a freeway.
Snow covers hills and mountains on either side of the 5 Freeway in Gorman on Jan. 30.
(Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)

Snow on the Grapevine shut down the 5 Freeway before California Highway Patrol officers began escorting vehicles over the reopened mountain pass early Wednesday.

The freeway closed late Tuesday due to light snow, then other roads in south Kern County shut down from the icy conditions early Wednesday with police escorts later moving traffic over the Grapevine — but by about 6 a.m. most lanes had returned to normal.

All lanes have since reopened.

Forecasts show the overnight snow will likely be the extent of the area’s precipitation for the rest of the week, though cooler temperatures and some higher winds are expected to remain at least through Thursday.


“That’s all done, we’re not expecting any more precipitation now for several days,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Mike Wofford in Oxnard.

Wofford said Los Angeles County can expect a quieter stretch of weather the rest of Wednesday and into Thursday, after a winter storm brought high winds and cool air to the region. However, he said temperatures will still be “cooler than normal” for this time of year, with some higher wind gusts.

The Antelope Valley saw the most drastic winds and temperatures late Tuesday into Wednesday, with gusts up to 50 and 60 mph and temperatures in the 20s, Wofford said.

Santa Clarita was in the low 30s Wednesday morning, while the San Gabriel and San Fernando valleys dropped into the higher 30s, he said. Santa Monica and downtown L.A. saw temperatures in the mid-40s, while the surrounding mountains fell into the teens.

A winter storm is passing through Los Angeles Tuesday evening with fierce winds and perhaps a smattering of precipitation. It will leave clear but cold weather in its wake.

Feb. 13, 2023

Thursday morning would be “very similar, within a couple degrees,” Wofford said.

However, the winds aren’t expected to return with the same strength felt late Tuesday.

“We did have some strong winds yesterday and last evening, but it’s generally dropped off quite a bit this morning across L.A. County,” Wofford said Wednesday morning. “Across most of L.A. the winds are generally under 15 mph now.”

He said gusts could get as high as 20 or 30 mph in the valleys Wednesday, but the wind advisory for the San Gabriel Valley is set to expire by 10 a.m. Wednesday.