Cold Snap In Southern California May Bring Snow to Local Mountains

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A cold storm emanating from Canada and packing very little moisture is moving through California today, bringing the Southland's coldest temperatures this year, snowfall potentially as low as 1,500 feet, furious winds and the risk of serious traffic disruptions, including road closures, forecaster said.

Mountain roads that could be affected by weather conditions include Interstate 5 near the Grapevine and the Antelope Valley (14) Freeway through Soledad Canyon, and Highway 2, the National Weather Service warned. Also possible are snow showers in the Antelope and Santa Clarita valleys, according to an NWS statement, which said 1-2 inches could fall on I-5.

The snow level is expected to be between 1,500 and 2,500 feet this morning, which will continue into tonight, it said. Between 2 and 4 inches of snow are expected. At the same time, northwest to north winds of between 25 and 35 miles per hour gusting to 50 mph will blow across the San Gabriel Mountains in Los Angeles and Ventura counties

A winter weather advisory pointing to challenging travel conditions will be in effect in the San Gabriels until 3 Tuesday morning.

Strong winds will not only slash away at mountain areas but also the Antelope Valley, where gusts of between 40 and 50 mph are likely, forecasters said. A wind advisory will be in force in the Antelope Valley until 10 tonight.

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, meanwhile, issued a cold weather alert because temperatures are expected to dip below 32 degrees this week. The alert areas include the Antelope Valley and San Gabriel Mountains through Friday; the San Fernando and Santa Clarita valleys from Monday through Wednesday; the Pomona Valley from Tuesday through Wednesday; and the San Gabriel Valley on Tuesday.

Off the coast, a small craft advisory targeting the captains of small vessels and a gale warning will be go into effect at 9 this morning. A gale warning means winds of 34 to 47 knots are imminent or occurring.

Temperatures will be in sharp contrast to the warm weather that graced the Southland until recently, thanks to high pressure and weak Santa Ana winds.

The NWS forecast a combination of cloudy and windy conditions in L.A. County today and highs of 38 degrees on Mount Wilson; 44 in Lancaster; 45 in Palmdale; 52 in Saugus; 57 in Pasadena and Burbank; 58 in San Gabriel and Woodland Hills; 60 in Avalon and at LAX; 61 in Long Beach; and 62 in Downtown L.A. Temperatures will remain roughly the same until Saturday, when they'll start rising slowly.

Sunny skies were forecast in Orange County today, along with highs of 54 in Laguna Beach, San Clemente, Mission Viejo and Yorba Linda; 55 in Newport Beach; and 57 in Fullerton, Anaheim and Irvine. Orange County temperatures will rise slowly starting Tuesday.

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