When water is your life blood, the appearance of fresh-fallen mountain snow is almost always good news.

Even when it causes road closures and fender benders.

There was plenty of good news to go around Thursday morning in the mountain areas of Kern County as the first serious snows of the season blanketed Frazier Park to the south, Tehachapi to the east, and Alta Sierra in the northeast.

Officer Tim Pennington at the California Highway Patrol station in Fort Tejon said snow began falling in earnest at about 7:30 a.m. Thursday, and didn't let up until midday, forcing the CHP to close that portion of Interstate 5 for about four hours.

Pennington estimated between 2 and 3 inches of snow "stuck" around the area of the station, located not far from the Tejon Pass at an elevation of 4,144 feet.

But the snow was much deeper in the higher elevations, where residents reported depths of 8 inches and possibly deeper.

That estimate was seconded by a fire official at the Kern County Fire Department's Frazier Park station.

If you're planning to head uphill in the area of Mount Pinos, which reaches an elevation of nearly 9,000 feet, always bring chains in the winter, Pennington said.

Snowfall was also encouraging in other areas of Kern County.

At Alta Sierra Ski Resort in the Greenhorn Mountains northeast of Bakersfield, the slopes already had a base of 10 inches with 6 inches of fresh powder that was added over the weekend.

The ski resort, where the summit is 7,091 feet and the base elevation‎ is ‎6,491 feet, received 16 inches of new snow Thursday morning and it was still snowing, the resort said on its social media pages. As a result, Alta Sierra will open Sunday to winter sports enthusiasts.

"Carry chains and use (4-wheel drive) if you have it," Alta Sierra advised on its website. "Lots of snow at the low levels."

The Tehachapi area also received its first significant snow of the season. And while some roads in the higher elevations were closed, Tehachapi Unified School District said all schools would remain on regularly schedules and bus routes.

According to Jim Andersen, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, the storms are expected to grow quiet through the weekend.

"A little system could arrive Tuesday or Wednesday," Andersen said, "But it looks weaker than this latest one."

In the meantime look for things to dry out for a while.

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