Snow continued to fall in the Antelope Valley Thursday, turning the region into a winter wonderland on the day after Christmas.
The rare holiday snowstorm was possible thanks to snow levels dropping down to 2,500 feet Christmas Day, according to the National Weather Service.
By 11 a.m., the Longview/Pearblossom area — which is at an elevation of 3,200 feet — had received 5 inches of snow over the past 24 hours, the weather service reported.
There was enough snow for a sheriff's deputy in Lancaster to do a snow angel.
Our field training officers have the most fun.
— LASD Lancaster Stn. (@LANLASD) December 27, 2019
No other snowfall totals for the Antelope Valley were immediately provided.
On Thursday morning, the agency upgraded a winter weather advisory to a winter storm warning in the Antelope Valley because of widespread snow and freezing temperatures throughout the region. The warning, which includes areas like Palmdale and Lancaster, is set to expire at 10 p.m.
About 6 to 10 inches of snow total were forecast in the foothills, while valley floor areas could receive 3 to 6 inches of fresh powder, according to NWS.
Heavy snow combined with winds gusting up to 35 mph could result in a significant reduction in visibility, making driving difficult on local roads.
Forecasters also warned of "major" travel impacts on highways 14 and 138 amid the inclement weather.
This is the second major storm to bring snow to the Antelope Valley in recent weeks. Both times were on major holidays, much to the delight of some residents.
"It started snowing last night, Christmas day, so that was a wonderful surprise," said Noemi Murillo. "The last time it actually snowed was on Thanksgiving day, so that was an even better surprise. Holidays are my first snow, apparently."
But the conditions also wreaked havoc on local highways, severely disrupting traffic for holiday motorists on one of the year's busiest travel days.
The 5 Freeway was shut down through the Grapevine Wednesday night after a heavy storm blew through the area, blanketing the road in icy snow and stranding numerous vehicles between Lake Hughes and Grapevine road.
On Thursday morning, a driver was found dead inside his big rig on the southbound near Lebec after the 5 Freeway was shut down, according to the California Highway Patrol.
A cause of death was not immediately known.