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New storm brings more snow to Southern California mountains; I-5 corridor in jeopardy

Javier Panzar and Kim Christensen, Los Angeles Times on

Published in News & Features

A new storm moved into Southern California on Saturday, bringing light rain and concerns over snow in mountain passes.

Snow was beginning to stick along the Interstate 5 corridor in the Tejon Pass, the National Weather Service said Saturday morning.

Snow level were predicted to drop to 3,500-to-4,000 feet Saturday. Higher mountains could see 2 to 4 inches of snow. Snow levels could drop to 2,500 feet Sunday, when a second storm moves through.

Officials have warned of possible closures of mountain passes because of snow.

Some Santa Barbara County mountain peaks could see up to 6 inches of snow, the weather service said.

A series of storms has brought a rare wet winter to the state. Another weaker trough was expected to bring rain and mountain snow late Saturday night into Sunday morning, before dry weather returns early next week. Another storm is expected Wednesday into Thursday, forecasters said.

A series of storms has made for a rare wet winter in California, with record rains and massive snowfall in the mountains that helped double the snowpack in the Sierra Nevada.

Below-normal temperatures are expected through next week throughout Southern California.

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Heavy snowfall this week at Yosemite National Park toppled trees, knocked out power and damaged campgrounds, and some roads and facilities including the ski area remained closed Friday, officials said.

No one was injured during the storm, which from Monday through Wednesday dumped 18 to 24 inches of snow on Yosemite Valley and several feet in the high country.

The park is open, but all visitor services at Half Dome Village remained closed Friday as the damage was assessed and repairs begun.

About 50 guest cabins at Half Dome Village were damaged or destroyed, as well as 50 to 70 housing units for concession employees, National Park Service officials said. Alternative housing was being arranged for about 150 workers.

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