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Grapevine reopened after snow closure

Posted: December 8, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: December 8, 2013 2:00 a.m.

Traffic moves on Interstate 5 near Parker Road in Castaic Saturday morning. California Highway Patrol officials have closed northbound traffic through the Grapevine due to snowy conditions in the mountains. Signal photo by Luke Money.

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Northbound lanes of Interstate 5 through the Grapevine were closed for hours Saturday after a winter snow storm blew through Southern California, dropping snow and rain in its wake.

The California Highway Patrol closed I-5 lanes north of Castaic heading through the mountains around 10 a.m. Saturday, and the road was closed until about 2:45 p.m.

The closure was also in effect for southbound traffic coming from Bakersfield, delaying trips for many drivers trying to make their way through the mountains.

The winter storm also dropped more than a tenth of an inch of rain on some portions of the Santa Clarita Valley.

Temperatures are expected to drop to around or below freezing for the next several nights, with the overnight low for Santa Clarita forecast at 33 degrees tonight.

Gale force winds are also expected to develop, according to forecasts, with sustained winds between 20 mph and 25 mph developing Sunday, with gusts reaching as high as 40 mph.

Windy conditions are expected to last through Monday.

While the winter storm did not bring snow to the lower elevations as of Saturday morning it brought about .18 inches of rain to the Newhall Pass from Friday to Saturday, according to the National Weather Service.

The weather recording station in Saugus reported a more scant amount of rain, only about .01 inches, according to the National Weather Service.

The winter storm in the Santa Clarita Valley pales in comparison to some other areas of the country.

A late fall cold snap that has gripped much of the country is being blamed for a handful of deaths and has forced people to deal with frigid temperatures, power outages by the thousands and treacherous roads.

Weather forecasters say the powerful weather system has Virginia and the Mid-Atlantic in its icy sights next.

Temperatures in Montana and South Dakota were more than 20 degrees below zero during the day Saturday while much of the Midwest was in the teens and single digits. Wind chill readings could drop as low as 50 below zero in northwestern Minnesota, weather officials said.

Icy conditions were expected to last through the weekend from Texas to Ohio to Tennessee, and Virginia officials warned residents of a major ice storm likely to take shape Sunday, resulting in power outages and hazards on the roads.

In California, four people died of hypothermia in the San Francisco Bay area and about a half-dozen traffic-related deaths were blamed on the weather in several states.

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