Cold storm brings snow to county: Snow chains required at highest elevations

SAN DIEGO - A cold Pacific storm brought snow and icy conditions to parts of San Diego County and authorities were requiring snow chains at the highest elevations Saturday.

IMAGES: Viewer-submitted photos of cold storm

Chains were required on Sunrise Highway, Palomar Mountain and county roads S2 and S22. The snow level was around 3,000 feet, according to the county's Department of Public Works.

But Interstate 8 was open across the three summits, each about 4,100-feet high, in East County.

Snowfall included between 10-12 inches on Mount Laguna, about eight inches on Palomar Mountain, six inches of snow in Julian, about five inches in the Borrego Springs area. About two inches were reported in Santa Ysabel and in Pine Valley.

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Viewer-submitted weather photos

Icy conditions were also reported on highways in the mountains.

Authorities closed the snow gates at the north end of Sunrise Highway, near state Route 79, due to ice and drifting snow as plow crews continue to work, according to the DPW.

Authorities were requiring motorists to use vehicle snow chains on Sunrise Highway as well as on county roads S2 and S22, although no snow was falling in the Borrego Springs area around noon and the roads were clear, the DPW reported. Crews were sanding roads on Palomar Mountain and the roads were clear.

Cleveland National Forest park rangers were turning around two-wheel drive vehicles on Palomar Mountain without chains, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Park rangers were also requesting that snow chains be required in the vicinity of state Route 76 and Nate Harrison Grade in Pauma Valley because three to four inches of snow was in the icy roadway, which was especially slick in shaded areas, the CHP reported.

Forecasters expected the weather to improve on Saturday, although roads could remain icy and slick in some mountain areas.

According to the National Weather Service, a frost advisory will be in effect from midnight Saturday until 8 a.m. Sunday. 

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