GORMAN – Winter sure took its time getting here. After weeks of sunny, dry weather that tricked flowering trees and plants into blossoming like spring, a winter storm dropped rain and dusted Southern California peaks with snow – though not enough to cause problems on either Interstate 5 or the Antelope Valley Freeway. “We had light snowflakes, hard snowflakes, and then it’s clear again,” said Michelle Malone, a staffer at the Hungry Valley State Vehicular Recreation Area south of Gorman. But a bit more rain is expected today, with the possibility of isolated thunderstorms with small hail. The snow level is expected to dip to 3,500 feet, too high to get Santa Clarita but low enough to snarl Interstate 5 north of Gorman. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECasino Insider: Here’s a look at San Manuel’s new high limit rooms, Asian restaurant The storm is expected to give way this afternoon, with partial overcast skies for the rest of the Presidents Day weekend. Mostly clear skies are predicted for the rest of the week, warming to the 50s by Friday. This winter is much drier than the record season a year ago, when a string of slow-moving storms caused devastating floods and mudslides, and dropped enough snow to shut down Interstate 5 at the Grapevine for several days. As of 1 a.m. Saturday, downtown Los Angeles totaled about 5.14 inches of rain since July 1, compared to the 25.51 inches the same 7-month period a year ago, said Bill Forwood, a National Weather Service meteorologist based in Oxnard. Normal rainfall for the period is about 9.37 inches, he said. Between Friday and Saturday morning, the storm dropped about 0.19 inches of rain in Los Angeles, and 0.37 inches in Newhall. Rick and Kim Mora weren’t taking any chances: the Redondo Beach couple left early in the morning heading up Interstate 5 for Monterey, hoping to stay ahead of the storm. “They say that the storm was going to hit (Saturday night),” said Kim Mora, 29, during a stop at Gorman. “I checked the CalTrans Web site before we left and they say it was all clear.” Others came looking to revel in the powder. Malone said at least 40 groups have arrived at the Hungry Valley off-road park – a good start for a holiday weekend. “They like to come up and ride in the snow,” she said. “The snow makes it so the dust doesn’t pick up, and they like to play in it as well.” Navin Tailor, manager at the Econolodge in Gorman, said the 60-room motel did swift business Friday night. “Lots of people are visiting because they’re expecting snow,” she said. “It’s unfortunate it didn’t snow. It’s nice and clear – just a little chilly, that’s it. It’s just winter.” Eugene Tong, (661) 257-5253 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!