LEBEC (CBSLA) – Drivers headed through mountain ranges in the Southland need to be on alert for potentially dangerous conditions Tuesday, with snowfall levels expected to plummet.
Snow levels are expected to drop as low as 2,000 feet by Tuesday night for all mountain ranges in Los Angeles County excluding the Santa Monica Mountains, according to the National Weather Service, which issued a winter storm warning.
Snowy and icy conditions are possible along the 5 Freeway through the Grapevine near Lebec and on the 15 Freeway in the Cajon Pass. The Grapevine was receiving light flurries, but if conditions worsen as the day goes along, Caltrans could close the freeway completely. Caltrans had trucks dropping brine on the roadway to keep it from icing over.
“This corridor connects California, it’s a critical point in California for commerce, not to mention people that are traveling on vacation and what not, so we want to keep this freeway open as much as possible,” CHP Sgt. John Tyler said.
Snow was also possible along the 10 Freeway between Yucaipa and Banning, State Route 74 between Lake Elsinore and Orange County, Highway 60 between Moreno Valley and Beaumont, Highway 79 from San Jacinto to Beaumont and Highway 62 in Yucca Valley and Joshua Tree.
“If you take it easy on the throttle, you can go amazing places, but if you gas it, you’re gonna spin out of control, and I’ll come get you,” one tow truck driver told CBS2.
All schools in the Snowline Joint Unified School District in San Bernardino County and the Bear Valley Unified School District were closed Tuesday, along with
Caltrans warns drivers to carry chains or proper traction tires, and have water, food, blankets, a cell phone, a full tank of gas and a flashlight before heading into the mountains. Chains are currently required on Highway 330, Highway 38 and Highway 18 near Big Bear Lake in the San Bernardino Mountains.
Around 2 to 4 inches of snow are likely at elevations above 4,000 feet overnight Tuesday, with 8 and 14 inches expected in elevations above 7,000 feet.
For the latest road conditions click here, or download the Caltrans Quick Map app.