HESPERIA, Calif. - Winter weather came to Southern California this week and officials are warning drivers to be careful.
Snow was expected in the mountains at elevations as low as 2,000 feet in some areas. The Big Bear area could get as much as a foot of snow.
RELATED: Southern California weather forecast
Caltrans and the CHP cautioned drivers in mountain areas to be prepared: Bring snow chains - along with blankets, food and water in case you have to pull over to wait the storm out.
Better yet: Stay off the roads altogether if possible.
"If you can avoid travel during the storm, that's your best option," said Terri Kasinga, spokesperson for Caltrans.
Drivers warned to take precautions as winter storm hits
Caltrans will be operating 24/7 with snowplows and other equipment deployed throughout its coverage area. Crews are already spraying the roadway with brine - salty water - to prepare for the possibility of black ice.
Caltrans and the CHP also have a plan in place to close the 5 Freeway through the Grapevine if conditions get bad. Right now they don't know if that will be necessary.
Residents and businesses along mountain routes in the Inland Empire have been preparing.
Local residents are stocking up on supplies like firewood and blankets, along with water and extra food.
A 76 station on Highway 138 says it has stocked up on supplies in preparation for travelers who may need to wait out the storm.
Store manager Syed Hussain said he's stocked his shelves.
"I'm ready. With my crew, I have extra scheduled people and inventory. Just called on my vendors to be here."
The storm began Monday night and into Tuesday. Wednesday is expected to be clear, and then a second storm system with more snow and rain is forecast for Thursday.