Freeze watch issued, snowfall expected in Grapevine

Cloudy skies and rain hitting Central Park in Santa Clarita. The Signal/Chris Torres

Following a rainy Christmas holiday in the Santa Clarita Valley, temperatures are set to remain low through the week, with a freeze watch warning issued for the greater SCV, while snowfall may occur in the Grapevine, according to officials at the National Weather Service. 

The freeze watch alert was issued for the SCV Monday through Tuesday morning, with temperatures expected to drop between 28 and 32 degrees. Additionally, temperatures are expected to remain below 50 degrees until Friday.  

The NWS expected 1 or 2 inches of snow along Interstate 5 over the Tejon Pass through the night Monday into Tuesday. As a result, potential icy road conditions may last until Tuesday morning, resulting in travel delays and road closures. 

If snowfall impacts Interstate 5, then the California Highway Patrol and Caltrans may implement Operation Snowflake. 

Operation Snowflake creates closures on the Grapevine and other mountain roads along Interstate 5. Decisions are based on road and weather conditions. 

CHP offices in Tejon, Newhall and Bakersfield will work simultaneously to close down their roads to prevent serious traffic collisions, according to Officer Josh Greengard, a spokesman for the CHP Newhall-area Office. 

Greengard said his agency is prepared and ready for the weather conditions but must confirm heavy snowfall in the Tejon pass before implementing Operation Snowflake.  

National Weather Service meteorologist Mike Wofford said a weather system is coming and is creating rain starting Monday afternoon into the evening, producing 3 to 7 inches of snow in the mountains.  

“We could get some snow in the Grapevine around 4,000 feet,” Wofford said. “It should all be gone by midnight (Monday) and be dry (Tuesday).” 

L.A. County Public Health Department officials have issued a cold weather alert and suggest residents in affected areas dress warm, limit time outside, bring pets indoors and check on elderly friends, family and neighbors.  

“Children, the elderly, and people with disabilities or special medical needs are especially vulnerable during cold weather. Extra precaution should be taken to ensure they don’t get too cold when they are outside,” L.A. County Health Officer, Muntu Davis said. “There are places where people can go to stay warm, such as shelters or other public facilities. We also want to remind people not to use stoves, barbeques or ovens to heat their homes due to the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.”

Prolonged exposure to the cold could lead to hypothermia, while extreme cold could lead to frostbite. Public Health advises those who show signs of either to seek immediate medical care.  

The L.A. Homeless Services Authority has a winter shelter program available for those who need shelter. For more information, visit or call 2-1-1 from any landline or cellphone.  

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