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Snow falls in Grapevine, fisherman rescued in marina as winter storm moves in [Updated]

November 28, 2009 |  7:15 am

Snow was falling in the Grapevine this morning and scattered showers were expected today as a Pacific storm moved into Southern California.

[Updated at 9:15 a.m.: The California Highway Patrol said major mountain highways, including the Grapevine and Cajon Pass, were open as of 9 a.m. However, officers were using traffic breaks to slow down motorists during the storm.] 

The National Weather Service called for a 40% chance of rain -- as well as snow in some mountain regions. For part of the morning, the California Highway Patrol was escorting cars through a snowy Tejon Pass.

High surf is also expected. And overnight, a fisherman who was setting up bait near Marina del Rey was washed out to sea. He was rescued, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department. [Updated at 7:45 a.m.: The weather service reported a strong storm cell moving into Catalina, producing rain and possible hail.]

Despite the mountain rain and snow, some parts of the L.A. Basin were clear this morning.

Skies will be mostly cloudy in the morning and partly cloudy by the afternoon. Lows will be in the upper 40s to mid-50s and the highs in the lower 60s. Winds will be out of the southwest at 15 mph.

The weather service has issued a winter weather advisory for the Ventura, San Gabriel and San Bernardino mountains that will remain in effect until 3 p.m. The storm, which is coming out of the north, is expected to bring a chance of showers and snow accumulations of 3 to 6 inches.

Because of the cold and unstable nature of the system, meteorologists say the precipitation could be highly variable throughout the mountain areas. The snowfall may be heavy at times and reach levels as low as 3,500 feet.

The weather could affect travelers on Interstate 5 near Gorman and the Tejon Pass as well as Highway 33 in the Ventura County mountains. Winds will be 20 to 30 mph, with gusts up to 40 mph in those areas.

At local beaches, a strong west-northwest swell will produce 4-to-6-foot waves with 8-to-10-foot faces. A high surf advisory will remain in effect until 10 a.m. Sunday, when the swell is expected to fade.

The weather service predicts that it will be mostly sunny and breezy Sunday. Highs will be in the mid-60s to low 70s, and nighttime temperatures will be in the mid-40s to low 50s. Clear skies are predicted for Sunday evening.

-- Dan Weikel and Shelby Grad