The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning Wednesday that will last through the weekend, which is expected to bring 4 to 6 inches of rain and up to 7 feet of snow in the mountains.
“We have the storm that’s coming right out of British Columbia that’s just running down the California coastline,” said Kristen Stewart, meteorologist at the NWS’s Oxnard Station. “It’s going to pick up moisture on its way off the coast.”
“Come Friday, Saturday, and that’s going to bring the heaviest precipitation, and then it’ll move on into Arizona come Sunday,” she added.
According to Stewart, the Santa Clarita Valley experienced scattered showers Wednesday and more are expected Thursday. There’s also a chance of light snow around the foothills around the valley and possibly on the valley floor.
The National Weather Service also issued a flood watch for Los Angeles County, including the SCV, for Friday morning through Saturday afternoon.
“Excessive runoff may result in flooding of rivers, creeks, streams and other low-lying and flood-prone locations,” according to the NWS. “Rainfall rates up to an inch per hour are possible, especially in the foothills and lower mountain locations.”
In addition, Stewart noted high chances of snow, almost a couple of inches and up to a foot of snow, depending on the elevation. According to the National Weather Service, about 1 to 4 inches of snow is likely at 1,000 to 2,500 feet of elevation.
“That could lead to closures near the Grapevine down to Castaic, but other areas in the mountains could expect several feet, up to 2 to 5 feet. Local areas can possibly see up to 7 feet, and that would mainly be confined to the eastern Gabriel Mountain Range,” Stewart said.
Temperatures are expected to be in the mid-40’s with overnight lows at or near freezing, according to the National Weather Service. High winds are expected, too, between 35 to 55 mph through this winter storm.
The National Weather Service and California Highway Patrol reported early snowfall on Interstate 5 near the Tejon Pass and Grapevine Wednesday afternoon. Both agencies were already warning drivers via social media to be wary and stay off the roads during extreme weather.
Snow was also reported in the State Route 14 corridor near Agua Dulce and Acton.
“During periods of rain, especially Friday and Saturday, driving will be pretty treacherous,” Stewart said. “This usually happens here in Southern California. If you have to drive, slow down on the roads and give yourself extra time to get to places.”
“If you’re going to go out in the mountains, it’s not advised to go see any snow or go to the slopes at all. Roads are likely to be closed, and it’ll just be treacherous,” she added. “You can’t really prepare to drive in those conditions. It’s life-threatening.”
She noted the storm is expected to break Sunday, but another smaller storm system is expected Monday through Wednesday, which will bring some decent rain — about half an inch to 2 inches of rain.