Southern California: Residents in mountainous areas are on high alert if a cold storm system hits

LOS ANGELES (KABC) — A cold storm system is sweeping through southern California Sunday night, bringing rain and snow, and mountain residents are on high alert.

Snow levels will drop to 2,500 feet later in the night through Monday morning.

Mountain passes are expected to get 2 to 3 inches of snow, including Freeway 5 near Grapevine, Highways 14 (near Acton) and 33 (north of Ojai).

Caltrans and the California Highway Patrol have activated Operation Snowflake, ready should conditions change.

“We hope it won’t happen, but I’ve been watching the radar,” said Sgt. Michael Kerr with CHP. “It looks like something is coming pretty soon, lasting a few hours and all night. The amount of rainfall… it’s in the air, but it looks like it’s going to be something.”

Traffic was moving slowly on Sunday afternoon, but the drivers were already in preparation mode.

“Not bad, a little drizzle,” said Eddie Sawyer of San Diego. “It will be cloudy or foggy but no traffic, that’s the amazing thing.”

In the Inland Empire near Cajon Pass, the same concerns are growing for I-15 drivers as snow is also expected there. Snow plows were being used at Wrightwood as the snow began to fall earlier in the day.

Many residents have headed into the mountains to enjoy the winter weather, but if Big Bear or Running Springs are on your plans, chains are a must.

Meanwhile, afternoon showers had prompted San Gabriel Valley residents to grab their umbrellas.

Residents are asked to monitor road conditions.

Copyright © 2023 KABC Television, LLC. All rights reserved. Southern California: Residents in mountainous areas are on high alert if a cold storm system hits

Laura Coffey

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