Northbound side of the Grapevine remains open with CHP escorts

A sign posted on northbound Interstate 5 near Castaic on Thursday alerts travelers of snow escorts up the Grapevine , 031121. Dan Watson/The Signal

The Grapevine northbound remained open through Thursday, but officers with the California Highway Patrol Newhall-Area Office conducted escorts throughout the day and heading into the night.  

At approximately 1:22 p.m. CalTrans District 7 announced that the southbound side of Interstate 5 through to Lake Hughes Road had been closed due to snow and weather. However, the northbound side remained open.  

Officer Josh Greengard of the Newhall CHP office said his fellow officers would continue through the day to provide paced escorts to ensure that drivers and truckers alike had little trouble navigating the mountain pass.  

“Our goal is everybody’s safety, we want to keep it open, we will keep escorting vehicles for as long as possible today and into the evening,” said Greengard. “We hope the storm doesn’t push too much snow on the roadway.” 

A man hurries with his cart as hail falls on him in the parking lot of the Walmart Supercenter in Valencia on Thursday, 031121. Dan Watson/The Signal

The National Weather Service said their winter storm warning would remain in effect for the Grapevine through 10 p.m. on Thursday, and they expected more icy roads and another inch to two inches of snow to fall in the area.  

“We have the winter storm warning out because with the heavy snow and gusty winds, it’s going to be blowing snow, potential for icy roads, lower visibility,” said Carol Smith, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service. “Anytime you drive in falling snow … it makes it really hard to see.” 

The National Weather Service has projected a 30% chance of more rain on Friday afternoon, with winds in the 10 to 20 miles per hour range. By Saturday afternoon, the weather should be clearer, with highs in the mid 60s through Sunday.   

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