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Confirmed! A Rare Snow Day in L.A. Drops Flurries from Malibu to Pasadena

[dropcap size=big]I[/dropcap]t has been unseasonably cold and — dare I say it — wintry in Los Angeles in February, and now we are in for a rare sprinkling of snow on Thursday, according to an early morning report by the National Weather Service.

Two Southern California mountain passes could even be shut down on Thursday by a cold storm bringing snow to elevations as low as 1,500 feet, including 1 to 4 inches in areas that rarely see the white stuff – like the higher valleys of Los Angeles and Ventura counties, the foothills and the Santa Monica Mountains.

Four to 6 inches of snow are expected in the eastern part of the San Gabriel Mountains, the report said.

Snow fell on the Grapevine and in Palmdale last night and in the early hours Thursday morning, creating icy road conditions on the 5 Freeway in Lebec.  The flow of traffic, albeit slow, was not halted due to the icy weather on the main artery from Southern California in to the Central Valley.

The sky opened in a burst of soft icy pellets across L.A. County on Thursday afternoon. Residents posted photos and video clips from Malibu to Pasadena, including ones showing snow on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, Eagle Rock, Highland Park, and Boyle Heights.

It is the first snow for the Southland in more than 50 years – since 1962, for those counting – according to weatherman Wes Holenstein, chief meteorologist for WNCN in Raleigh, North Carolina.

“Planning on driving through I-5 between Bakersfield and Los Angeles County? Be prepared for snow and a potential closure of I-5 through the Grapevine,” Caltrans tweeted on Thursday for Angelenos unaccustomed to cold and icy roads.

Traffic moved steadily through Cajon Pass early Thursday under rare falling snowflakes. California Highway Patrol officers were helping avert possible ice-related accidents by deliberately slowing down cars with occasional traffic breaks.

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