As motorists returned to the road, they appeared to drive cautiously. Despite the road reopening, road conditions remained slushy.
Afternoon snowfall forced the closure of the 5 Freeway through the Grapevine. Traffic was stopped in both directions from Parker Road on the northbound side to Grapevine Road on the southbound side.
The California Highway Patrol announced the closure at 1:50 p.m. Big rigs made a slow exit off the road, while drivers were caught off-guard.
"I don't know what to think, I live about 10 hours north and I didn't think it'd be snowing in southern California," said Bill Spaletta of Redbluff.
Delays are expected. The public is advised to use alternate routes including SR-58 to SR-14 or SR-46 and SR-41 to the US-101.
Meanwhile, drivers were forced to sit in nightmarish traffic with seemingly no end in sight.
"It was hideous, it was bad, a lot of trucks, and it was just bumper to bumper, nobody was moving," said Tina Lord of Sacramento.
Side streets were also completely backed up and quickly turned slick as rain began to fall around 5 p.m.