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Northbound facet of the Grapevine stays open with CHP escorts

The northbound grapevine stayed open through Thursday, but officials from the California Highway Patrol Newhall office escorted Newhall all day and went into the night.

At around 1:22 p.m., CalTrans District 7 announced that the southern side of Interstate 5 to Lake Hughes Road was closed due to snow and weather. However, the north side remained open.

Official Josh Greengard of the Newhall CHP office said his colleagues would continue throughout the day to provide speedy escorts to ensure drivers and truckers alike have no problems navigating the mountain pass.

“Our goal is everyone’s safety, we want to keep them open, we will escort the vehicles as long as possible today and into the evening,” said Greengard. “We hope that the storm doesn’t press too much snow onto the road surface.”

The National Meteorological Service said the winter storm warning for the grapevine would remain in effect until 10:00 p.m. Thursday, and they expected the area to be icy roads and an additional two inches of snow to fall.

“We have the winter storm warning because there is snow blowing in heavy snowfall and gusty winds, possibly icy roads and poor visibility,” said Carol Smith, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service. “Whenever you drive in the falling snow … it’s really hard to see.”

The National Weather Service has forecast a 30% chance of more rain on Friday afternoons, with winds in the 10 to 20 mph range. Saturday afternoon the weather should be clearer, with highs between the mid-60s and Sunday.