Slick, snow-covered roads, travel delays and road closures are all on the table Monday night, Tuesday and Wednesday in the mountains of Kern County.
According to meteorologists at the National Weather Service in Hanford, the latest systems in an impressive string of storms in California are expected to drop heavy snowfall above the passes, with some potentially impacting the Grapevine and Tehachapi Pass from Monday night through Wednesday morning.
"At the pass level we may only get a dusting to 3 inches of snow," said NWS Meteorologist Jim Andersen.
Temperatures will get colder Tuesday with snow levels dropping to near 2,500 feet Monday night and as low as 1,500 feet Tuesday.
"We typically do not see snow levels this low," Andersen said.
Tejon Pass on the Grapevine is at 4,160 feet. Tehachapi pass is at 3,793 feet.
A Winter Weather Advisory remains in effect for the Kern County mountains through 4 a.m. Wednesday. Snow levels will drop to pass level Monday night and down as low as 3,000 feet Tuesday, with a dusting to a few inches of snow possible between 3,000 and 4,000 feet.
Black ice is possible, Andersen said. It's one of the most dangerous and difficult road conditions motorists can face.
Indeed, melting snow refreezing on the roads overnight can make for a wild and dangerous ride.
People call it "black ice," which is strange because it is clear, but the asphalt is black, so the ice sheet looks black.
"It's so difficult to see," Andersen said. "Slow down. Be aware of your surroundings."
A freeze watch is in effect for the San Joaquin Valley on Wednesday and Thursday mornings.
Rain in Bakersfield is also expected, but not at cloudburst levels.
The city is expected to receive between one-quarter and one-half inch of rain by 4 a.m. Wednesday.
Bakersfield's rain year, which began Oct. 1, stood at 2.97 inches as of 5 p.m. Monday, up more than 0.7 inch over the previous week, but still slightly below the to-date normal, which is 3.29 inches.
"Last year at this time, it was only 1.10 on this day," Andersen said. "So we're way ahead of last year."