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 and a widespread hard freeze was predicted for early Thursday.

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 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 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.

Associated Press