Meteorologists with the National Weather Service are forecasting winter weather, which includes the possibility of snow, during this week’s storm that is expected to hit the Santa Clarita Valley.
The combination of a cold snap and a rainstorm, expected to begin as early as Wednesday, is being forecasted to lower the elevation threshold for snow down to 1,500 feet.
David Gomberg, a meteorologist at the NWS’s Oxnard Station, said the Grapevine corridor is more than susceptible to closures once the storm hits.
“This storm, because it’s a longer duration and a colder system, it actually has potential to produce higher amounts for the Grapevine area. And, in general, we think that this could be a major impact for that whole Interstate 5 corridor going from the Grapevine down toward the Santa Clarita Valley,” said Gomberg.
Gomberg said the storm will really pick up steam on Thursday — when temperature highs in the valley will only be in the mid-40’s with overnight lows at or near freezing.
This means snow, hail and sleet are not out of the range of possibilities within the lowest points of the SCV — with snow being much more likely in areas throughout the Highway 14 corridor, including Canyon Country, Agua Dulce and Acton.
“Besides Interstate 5, what makes this event unusual is because of low snow levels that can impact the 14 as well,” said Gomberg. “Pretty much from Canyon Country is where it could start and then progressively getting a little bit heavier as it gets to the higher elevations, out toward Acton and Agua Dulce.”
The NWS previously forecasted that approximately 3 to 5 inches of snow was expected to fall on the Grapevine. However, as of Monday, it was expected that parts of the Tejon Pass could see anywhere up to a foot of snow.
Three-quarters to half an inch of rain — which could be hail or sleet depending on temperatures — is expected to fall in places like Valencia, Saugus and Newhall. The hills and mountains around the SCV could get a combination of rain, snow or sleet depending on elevation.
“I think we have pretty high confidence that the mountain areas will be in the form of snow but the valleys, sometimes it’s kind of a mixture of either small hail or, or ice pellets… then maybe an outside chance of some snow showers,” said Gomberg.
While computer predictions are still uncertain, the storm could possibly begin on Wednesday or Thursday and run until at least Saturday.
The NWS is recommending residents to take certain precautions before the storm and to heed the following advice during it:
- Be weather-ready by checking NWS forecasts.
- Avoid travelling through elevations at or above 1,500 feet.
- Check for road closures.
- Prepare by clearing gutters and drains.
- Protect property and/or finish outdoor projects.
- Replace any faulty windshield wipers and check tire pressures.
- Adjust plans for outdoor activities.
- If you don’t have to go out, don’t go out.
- Residents may be surprised by where snow may fall.