Southern California mountains received additional snow on Tuesday as a "strong but fast-moving " storm entered the region, and more was on the way, according to forecasters.
The latest storm, the second in a series, has the potential to dump several inches to a foot of snow at higher elevations on mountains in San Bernardino and Riverside counties, the National Weather Service said Tuesday.
As a result, a winter storm warning was in effect until 4 a.m. Wednesday at elevations above the 6, 000-foot level in areas including Big Bear Lake, Running Springs and Wrightwood, forecasters said. Above 4, 500 feet, a winter storm warning would be in place between Tuesday and Thursday nights.
The snow level was expected to drop to between 6, 000 and 6, 500 feet by tonight, before lowering to 5, 000 feet on Wednesday. By Thursday night, it would drop again, possibly to as low as 4, 000 feet, according to the weather service.
Isolated light snow showers were possible Tuesday morning, with periods of heavier snowfall forecast between late morning and evening hours, and again Wednesday afternoon into Thursday morning.
The storm had the potential to drop 6 to 12 inches of snow below 5, 000 feet, 1 to 2 feet between 5, 000 and 7, 000 feet and 2 to 4 feet locally at elevations above that.
The wintry weather could make driving conditions above 6, 000 feet "next to impossible, " forecasters warned, telling motorists to "only travel in an emergency."
If travel is necessary, drivers should be prepared to face hazardous conditions. Motorists are encouraged to take proper precautions, which include carrying chains, and taking extra food and clothing.
Forecasters also warned motorists that snowy conditions on Interstate 5 near the Grapevine late Wednesday could reduce visibilities to near zero at times.
While the conditions were far from ideal for motorists, skiers and snowboarders were welcoming the mounds of fresh snow.
Many winter sports enthusiasts packed Bear Mountain on Tuesday morning to take advantage of weather. Even ahead of the snowfall, the resort encouraged skiers and snowboarders to pack up their gear and head up this weekend.