Southern California breaking news and trends

UPDATE: I-5 Freeway reopens at Grapevine as Southern California shivers in cold (map)

Downtown Los Angeles

David McNew/Getty Images

Snow blankets the mountains behind the Downtown Los Angeles skyline.

UPDATE 9:34 a.m.: The California Highway Patrol reopened a 40-mile stretch of  the I-5 Freeway through the Grapevine, some 17 hours after snow shut the route and forced hundreds of truckers to spend the night in their rigs.

CHP shut down the stretch Thursday afternoon. Officers began escorting southbound drivers through the 4,100-foot-high mountain pass Friday morning and later opened the northbound lanes.

Meanwhile, farmers around the state are trying to protect their crops from a cold snap that sent overnight temperatures plunging into the 20s and 30s in many areas. The frosty weather will continue through the weekend.

UPDATE 8:11 a.m.: The California Highway Patrol has partially reopened a 40-mile stretch of Interstate 5 through the Grapevine that was closed for many hours due to snow.

The CHP began escorting southbound motorists through the high mountain pass north of Los Angeles on Friday morning. The northbound lanes are still closed at Santa Clarita.

Blowing snow prompted officers to shutdown the freeway at about 4 p.m. Thursday, prompting hundreds of truckers to pull over and spend the night in their cabs.

PREVIOUSLY: The Grapevine section of Interstate 5 north of Los Angeles was remained closed early Friday morning by the California Highway Patrol due to snow and ice.

The CHP reports it has stopped snowing on the mountain, but conditions remain hazardous. Officers are evaluating the freeway to determine when it can reopen.

Several accidents and spinouts were reported in the mountain pass Thursday as cold winter weather was reported across Southern California.

The National Weather Service said the mountains saw snow levels down to 2,000 feet Thursday, while wind gusts reached close to 60 mph. Near-freezing temperatures were recorded across Southern California.

The forecast calls for high temperatures in the 50s throughout the region on Friday, with another cold night in store.

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