LOS ANGELES (AP/KTXL) — Ice and snow showers made travel dicey on many of California’s mountain highways Wednesday as a very cold and windy storm moved through.

Many parts of the state experienced overnight freezing temperatures, but Wednesday night is expected to be the coldest. A widespread hard freeze is predicted for early Thursday.

A freeze warning will again be in effect, but lows are expected to be milder.

Chains were required on major Sierra Nevada routes and icy conditions disrupted travel over Interstate 5 in Tejon Pass between Los Angeles and the San Joaquin Valley and on State Route 58 in the Tehachapi Mountains east of Bakersfield.

Massive traffic jams backed up on I-5 as big rigs and cars were prevented from going over the high-elevation summit and were turned around.

More than a foot (30.4 centimeters) of new snow was reported by the Big Bear Mountain Resort in the San Bernardino Mountains east of Los Angeles. Mammoth Mountain in the Eastern Sierra reported up to 6 inches (15.2 centimeters) of snow from the storm.

Showers and snowfall were expected to wind down through the day as the cold low pressure system centered over Nevada moves east and weakens on Thursday, the National Weather Service said.

Snow fell Tuesday in the city of Auburn in the lower foothills. A light dusting of snowflakes stuck to the grass and rooftops at the 1,200-foot level.

About 30 miles east of Auburn and 2,600 feet higher, snow was everywhere, and traffic was going nowhere. Multiple spinouts and accidents up the mountain caused traffic jams. Photos posted by the California Highway Patrol showed badly damaged vehicles that had crashed on Interstate 80. Only minor injuries were reported.

Follow below for the latest weather updates for Wednesday, Feb. 23.


12:15 p.m.

Caltrans said chain controls have been dropped on I-80 and Highway 50 in the Sierra.

Along Lake Tahoe, chain controls were still in effect on Highway 89.

8:30 a.m.

FOX40’s weather team says it’s likely the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys could experience record-breaking low temperatures Wednesday night into Thursday morning.

7:40 a.m.

The Caltrans map shows chain controls on Highway 50 eastbound starting at Sand Flat. In the westbound lanes, chain controls are in effect at Twin Bridges.

On I-80 at Applegate, trucks are required to stop at a chain checkpoint. If they do not have chains, truck drivers will be told to turn around.

In the higher elevations, chain controls are required on eastbound and westbound I-80.

Temperatures in some parts of the Sierra felt like they were in the teens Wednesday morning, FOX40’s weather team reported.