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CHP closes Grapevine as snow arrives: 'Cars were beginning to slide'

January 2, 2011 |  1:14 pm

A cold weather front packing chilly rain, gusty winds and heavy snow was moving through Southern California Sunday, spurring California Highway Patrol officials to shut down the Grapevine just before 1 p.m.

CHP officials reported that snow, propelled by winds gusting to 90 mph, was making for treacherous driving along the Grapevine. Authorities closed both northbound and southbound lanes indefinitely. Northbound traffic was being diverted at Parker Road in Castaic, and southbound traffic was closed from the L.A.-Kern county line.

Officers were initially escorting drivers through the Grapevine, but CHP Officer Ed Jacobs said the decision was made to shut down the interstate because "cars were beginning to slide."

California 14 and 138 were expected to get snow, Jacobs said, but those roads remained open.

The National Weather Service issued a winter-storm warning through late Monday for area mountains as well as the Antelope Valley, with the snow level at 2,000 feet and accumulations of 4 to 8 inches predicted. Temperatures were expected to drop overnight into the 20s in the Antelope Valley and 40s elsewhere well into the first week of the new year.

Rain also was expected to begin falling in the L.A. Basin late Sunday through Monday, with three-quarters to 1 1/2 inches forecast.

Winds of 15 to 25 mph -- with local gusts to 35 mph -- will make the cold feel more bone-chilling, said NWS meteorologist Jamie Meier. Beginning Tuesday, temperatures were expected to raise a bit, with highs in the 50s to near 60. Nighttime lows are expected to remain nippy.


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2 women found dead of apparent carbon monoxide poisoning

Motorists stranded as rain, snow jam Southern California freeways

-- Carla Rivera