Storm to Linger Much of Today


LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A winter Storm Warning denoting difficult travel conditions remained in force today in the San Gabriel Mountains in L.A. County and the Antelope Valley.

The National Weather Service said the warning would be in effect until 4 p.m.

It said that by the time the storm clears out, it will have caused accumulations of 6 to 12 inches in most mountain areas but 3 to 6 inches at the Grapevibe, which affected Interstate 405, and up to 24 inches in the eastern San Gabriels.

The Grapevine, which was closed much of Thanksgiving Day, was reopened at 11 p.m. Thursday with the California Highway Patrol running escorts.

Once again, as it has since the storm arrived Wednesday, the National Weather Service warned that “travel could be very difficult to impossible” in the San Gabriels as well as in the Antelope Valley.

“If you must travel, keep an extra flashlight, food, and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency,” the NWS urged in a statement.

The weather service also said the winter storm warning would be in force until 4 p.m. in the Antelope Valley, where 2 to 5 inches of snow are expected on the valley floor and 4 to 8 inches in the foothills, with the snow level between 2,000 and 3,000 feet.

In Orange County, a beach hazard statement, which is slightly less serious than a high surf advisory, will be in effect through this afternoon, with the NWS forecasting surf of 4 to 7 feet and warning that minor coastal flooding is possible during high tide between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m.

Forecasters also warned that strong rip currents will make swimming and surfing dangerous.

Along the L.A. County coast, a small craft advisory issued Thursday was allowed to expire but a gale watch will be in force from Saturday morning through Sunday afternoon, with the NWS forecasting south winds of 25 to 35 knots and 40-knot gusts.

A 50 percent chance of showers exists today in Los Angeles and the San Gabriel Valley, but the chance of measurable precipitation was only 30 oercent in the San Fernando, Santa Clarita and Antelope valleys.

On Thursday, 2.17 inches of rain were reported at Long Beach Airport, 1.8 inches at the San Gabriel Dam, 1.6 inches in El Monte, 1.25 inches in Van Nuys, 1.14 inches at L.A. City College, 1.01 inch in Malibu, .99 of an inch in Bel Air, .87 in Santa Monica and .78 at LAX. The volume of rain in Long Beach was a record for a November 28. topping the 1.93 set in 1970.

In Orange County, Coto de Caza led with 2.65 inches, Huntington Beach and Lower Oso Creek 2.52, Laguna Beach 1.97, John Wayne Airport 1.87, Santa Ana 1.83 and Corona del Mar .91.

The storm prompted city and county officials in Los Angeles to open 24- hour shelters early for the homeless to escape the cold and rain. More than 500 new emergency shelter beds opened Wednesday in Los Angeles, with more opening across the city Thursday and Friday. Countywide, the Board of Supervisors voted to open seven shelters early, all of them by Friday.

Temperatures are expected to remain chilly today.

The NWS forecast showers in Orange County and highs of 32 degrees on Santiago Peak amid snow showers; 43 on Ortega Highway at 2,600 feet; 49 in Trabuco Canyon; 50 at Fremont Canyon; 54 in Yorba Linda and Mission Viejo; 55 in Laguna Beach and San Clemente; 56 in Newport Beach, Anaheim and Irvine; and 57 in Fullerton. Highs will be slightly higher Saturday and Sunday, and showers are expected to return on Wednesday.

Photo: Getty Images

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