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Cold, wet weekend in store for Southland

February 25, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
Southern Californians are in for a cold and wet weekend as a storm system moves through the area, bringing rain and snow.

It drizzled in Porter Ranch Friday afternoon, with moderate to heavy rain expected Friday night into Saturday morning.

There is the possibility of a dusting of snow in Porter Ranch and other sections of the San Fernando Valley, as well as in Santa Clarita and the mountains. Residents in Porter Ranch said there hasn't been snow in 20 years.

The Santa Monica Mountains above Calabasas were shrouded in fog and there could be a dusting of snow even down at this level. The last time it snowed in these mountains was in December of 2008.

Workers at the Armstrong nursery in La Canada have been busy covering delicate flowers with frost cloth.

"I don't believe it's snowed up here since 1949 if I am correct," said La Canada-Flintridge resident Allen Young. "So I look forward to it."

The forecast calls for possible snow at the 1500 foot level, perhaps even as low as 1000 feet.

Due to snow and icy road conditions, the following roads within the Station Fire area are closed to all traffic with the exception of emergency vehicles: Angeles Forest Highway from Aliso Canyon Road to Angeles Crest Highway (SR-2); Big Tujunga Canyon Road from Big Tujunga Dam to Angeles Forest Highway; and Upper Big Tujunga Canyon Road. Once roads can be made safe for travel, they will be reopened.

In Ventura, the storm clouds have yet to produce a downpour. However, there's been enough rain to leave roads wet and slick. The weather is expected to get a lot colder Friday night.

Growers in the Ventura area said they're not expecting the weather to pose a danger to their crops.

"We have 15 and a half acres of lemon trees on sight," said Halley Cowden from Proctor and Gamble. "I think the low is somewhere in the mid 40s so we're not too concerned about freeze."

Wild weather is expected in Orange County. A wind advisory and flash flood watch is starting at 10 p.m. Friday. There is also a rare chance of snow in some areas.

"My girl sent me a letter in 1949 that it was snowing in Orange," said Orange resident Robert Gordon.

Overall there was light rain Friday, but there are plenty of storm clouds so more rain is on the way.

Traveling will be impacted and we will likely see delays across all mountain roadways, including Highway 33 in Ventura County and Interstate 5 from Santa Clarita through the Grapevine. Wintry conditions could potentially affect highways 14 and 138 across the Antelope Valley, as well as the Cajon Pass (I-15).

Heavy snow and gusty winds could cause whiteout conditions with visibility near zero, especially above 5,000 feet. Accumulating snow is expected over the 5 Freeway, 14 Freeway and 15 Freeway late Friday and Saturday. Drivers are urged to carry chains and pack accordingly.

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