A winter storm warning was in effect for local mountains until 6 p.m. Wednesday. Snow levels were expected to drop as low as 2,200 feet, according to the National Weather Service. It will also be bitterly cold, the agency said, with mountain temperatures as low as 25 degrees below average.
Anyone who chooses to visit those communities will need to come prepared.
California Highway Patrol had a checkpoint set up on the road to Julian Wednesday morning. Officers were stationed on Sunrise Highway near Old Highway 80, checking that all vehicles have snow chains, including 4X4 and all-wheel drive vehicles.
The San Diego County Department of Public Works was publishing chain requirement updates for other areas, including Palomar Mountain, on Twitter.
“Chains will absolutely be necessary, and only vehicles with chains will be allowed access,” CHP said in a statement.
Caltrans has information about how to install chains on your car if you’re new to such requirements. You can be cited by CHP and fined if you continue beyond a mile or so from a “Chains Required” sign.
Once visitors arrive, mountain residents urge San Diegans to respect their community by staying off of private property for activities like sledding. People should also bring their own trash bags, because public receptacles often quickly overflow when small towns like Julian get an influx of visitors.
Several school districts in San Diego County canceled classes Wednesday due to weather, county education officials said. For many, it was a second consecutive snow day.