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Cold front brings snow, traffic

November 21, 2010 |  5:31 pm

A cold and windy front that blew through Southern California early Sunday brought traffic nightmares and the first measurable snow of the season to area mountains.

It was the second blow of a two-punch system that began sweeping down the coast from the Pacific Northwest on Friday night and into Saturday morning with high wind and scattered downpours.

Forecasters said Sunday there was a 30% chance of rain through Tuesday, followed by a warming trend into Thanksgiving, when temperatures are expected to hit 70 degrees.

Two to 4 inches of snow fell at higher elevations, and the Grapevine, at about 4,700 feet, got a dusting of powder. Coastal communities received 1 to 4 inches of rain, with higher totals in the valleys and foothills.

Roads leading to local ski areas were open, but chains were required for drivers on Angeles Crest Highway at Big Pine, near the Mountain High Ski Resort.

Rain and clouds kept temperatures moderate, with lows from the 40s to 50s, said National Weather Service meteorologist Jamie Meier.

Rain-slicked roads snarled traffic throughout Los Angeles County on Sunday, and the California Highway Patrol recorded 275 accidents from 5 to 9 a.m., compared with 27 accidents during the same period last Sunday. Most of the incidents were rollovers or spin outs that resulted in several injuries but no fatalities.

--Carla Rivera