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Commuters warned of icy road conditions
Postponed I-15 closure in Victorville to take place Wednesday
• Allow enough time. Trips to the mountains can take longer during winter than other times of the year, especially if you encounter stormy conditions or icy roads. Get an early start and allow plenty of time to reach your destination.
• Keep your gas tank full. It may be necessary to change routes or turn back during a bad storm or you may be caught in a traffic delay.
• Keep windshield and windows clear. You may want to stop at a safe turnout to use a snow brush or scraper. Use the car defroster and a clean cloth to keep the windows free of fog.
• Slow down. A highway speed of 65 miles per hour may be safe in dry weather, but an invitation for trouble on snow and ice. Snow and ice make stopping distances much longer, so keep your seat belt buckled and leave more distance between your vehicle and the vehicle ahead. Bridge decks and shady spots can be icy when other areas are not. Remember to avoid sudden stops and quick direction changes.
• Be more observant. Visibility is often limited in winter by weather conditions. Slow down and watch for other vehicles that have flashing lights. Visibility may be so restricted during a storm that it is difficult to see the slow moving equipment.
• Stay with your vehicle. When stalled, stay with your vehicle and try to conserve fuel while maintaining warmth. Be alert to any possible exhaust or monoxide problems.
Winter weather conditions felt across the Victor Valley on Tuesday evening will continue briefly into Wednesday morning, according to weather forecasts.
With a large percent of residents commuting down the hill, travelers along Interstate 15 should prepare for icy roadways and low visibility as snow showers continue Wednesday morning.
“The storm will bring snow and slippery travel to ... passes and the high deserts. Some of these roads may close for a time, due to sudden heavy snow and whiteout conditions,” wrote Alex Sosnowski, Expert Senior Meteorologist, Tuesday on AccuWeather.com.
There is the potential for people to get stuck venturing over the passes of Southern California, wrote Sosnowski.
California Highway Patrol Public Information Officer Matt Hunt declined to predict whether or not there would be any closures of the Cajon Pass on Tuesday night or Wednesday morning due to winter weather. He said that a full freeway closure “only happens on the rarest of occasions.”
There was only one report of a solo vehicle spinout early Tuesday evening due to the weather at the 15/215 junction. The spinout was reported on the northbound lanes at 7:38 p.m., according to the CHP website.
A National Weather Service winter weather advisory remains in effect until 6 a.m. Wednesday. A high-wind warning also remains in effect until 4 p.m. Wind speeds of at least 40 mph with 58 mph gusts may lead to property damage, according to the NWS alert.
The brunt of Tuesday night’s storm, expected to hit Hesperia and Lucerne Valley hardest, will linger into Wednesday morning according to the NWS. Winds will gradually decrease throughout the day.
Both Apple Valley and Hesperia unified school districts posted on their websites a weather alert to students and parents Tuesday afternoon warning of possible closures on Wednesday.
“Snow showers are expected (Tuesday) evening. We will monitor road conditions,” the alert said. “Please monitor local radio stations or this website regarding possible school closure.”
Mountain High in Wrightwood also posted on their website regarding the winter weather. The resort was expecting 6 to 12 inches of fresh snow on top of a base that was over 2 feet in some places on the resort.
Caltrans was requiring motorist to use chains on all vehicles except four-wheel drive vehicles with snow tires on all four wheels on most mountain highways. Travels should be prepared when they drive on Highway 2, 18, 38, 138, 173, 189 and 330 due to winter weather conditions.
The scheduled I-15 freeway northbound closure for the La Mesa/Nisqualli Interchange project in Victorville will take place Wednesday into Thursday morning, according to San Bernardino Associated Governments public information officer Tim Watkins.
The closure was postponed to due the extreme weather, Watkins said. Crews will close northbound lanes at Bear Valley Road Wednesday and Thursday from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. The southbound lanes of I-15 will close at Palmdale Road on Feb. 26 at 8 p.m. and will reopen on Feb. 27 at 4 a.m.
Wednesday’s temperatures in the Victorville area will remain cold with a high of 48 degrees and a low of 29, according to an AccuWeather forecasts. A couple of morning snow showers may occur, but it will otherwise be mostly cloudy and breezy, the forecast said.
Temperatures will begin to rise slowly over the next few days finally reaching 60 on Saturday making for a sunny weekend, according to AccuWeather.
Sarah Batcha may be reached at (760) 951-6235 or SBatcha@VVDailyPress.com.
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