Snow will fall so low on local mountains tonight that the Ortega Highway west of Lake Elsinore has been added to a list of mountain passes that might get snowbound, the National Weather Service said.
A winter weather warning calls for 2-4 inches of snow tonight and Wednesday on the Ortega Highway, Route 74, as it crests at 2,600 feet above sea level just west of Lake Elsinore.
Two to four inches of snow are expected above the 3,000-foot contour, and that could mean snow on the floors of the high desert, the National Weather Service in San Diego said.
Above 3,500 feet, local accumulations will be near a half foot, and that means possible treacherous conditions on Interstate 15 over Cajon Pass, as well as on I-15 near the Nevada state line.
Snow also was expected tonight along Interstate 8 east of San Diego, the statement said.
North of Los Angeles, heavy snow and blizzard winds are expected along Interstate 5, which is above the 2,000-foot level for about 40 miles in the mountains north of Castaic. That snowfall should start this afternoon, and intensify overnight and into Wednesday morning.
Sixty mile per hour winds were forecast for the Grapevine. And isolated snow-thunderstorms could develop and drop more than a foot of snow in some places, the NWS warned.
By dawn Wednesday, snow may also be coating the Antelope Valley (14) Freeway near Acton. "That's the freeway that we are watching this time, because it usually doesn't get snow," said said Bonnie Breitling at the National Weather Service in Oxnard.
Los Angeles County road crews planned to close Angeles Forest Highway and roads in the Big Tujunga Canyon area at 3 a.m. today, in advance of the storm.
Downhill, the coastal plains and lower valleys can expect between a third of an inch, and one inch, of rain tonight and Wednesday, NWS forecasters said. --City News Service