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Bitter cold blankets Southern California, with a new storm just around the corner

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Highway 395 in Mammoth Lakes is blanketed in snow.
(Los Angeles Times)

Southern California went from very wet to very cold Tuesday morning.

The National Weather Service issued a freeze warning for parts of the Southland, and near-freezing temperatures were recorded across the region.

Santa Ana, Los Alamitos, Woodland Hills, Claremont, Chino and Oceanside all recorded low temperatures in the 30s.

According to the Los Angeles Almanac, the record low in downtown L.A. was set on this day in 1911 — a brisk 25 degrees. Tuesday was a bit warmer, though still downright chilly, with a low of 41 degrees.

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And below-average temperatures are sticking around for a while. Frost advisories that expired at 9 a.m. Tuesday for Riverside, San Bernardino and San Diego counties will return at 10 p.m. and continue until 9 a.m. Wednesday, forecasters said.

The cold and rain combined to bring snow to elevations as low as 2,500 feet over the weekend, and hundreds of drivers were stranded on the Grapevine when the 5 Freeway was shut down for several hours Sunday because of bad weather.

Freezing temperatures are forecast to sweep much of California this week, potentially endangering almonds and other lucrative Central Valley crops.

Southern California skies were clear Tuesday morning, but the chilly, overcast conditions that have prevailed this soggy winter aren’t behind us quite yet. Another mild storm is expected to descend on the L.A. area later in the week, one that could have snow levels plunging even further — to around 1,500 feet — further impacting travel in mountain passes.

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The weather service is predicting a 40% chance of rain — “very light and widely scattered” — on Thursday.

RELATED: It just snowed in Vegas and likely will again this week. That isn’t normal »

Serna writes for the Los Angeles Times and Robbins for the San Diego Union-Tribune. Times staff writer Teresa Watanabe contributed to this report.


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