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Colder weather lingers as new storm expected to roll into Southland next week

High surf hits the Hermosa Beach Pier as a winter storm and dark clouds move through.
High surf hits the Hermosa Beach Pier as a winter storm moves through Tuesday.
(Jay L. Clendenin/Los Angeles Times)

Lower overnight temperatures brought by recent high desert winds will remain as another storm system is expected to move across the Southland next week, officials said.

The Los Angeles County Health Department extended a cold weather alert through midweek for the Santa Clarita and Antelope valleys due to below-freezing wind chill temperatures forecasted.

Dr. Muntu Davis, L.A. County health officer, said children, older people and those with disabilities or special medical needs are especially vulnerable during cold weather events like this.

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“There are places where people can go to stay warm, such as shelters or other public facilities,” Davis said. “We also want to remind people not to use stoves, barbeques or ovens to heat their homes due to the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.”

Officials said precautions to protect from extreme cold include: Dressing in layers of warm clothing if you plan to be outdoors; wearing a hat, scarf, gloves and socks; checking on family members, friends and neighbors with limited access to heat; bringing pets indoors and not leaving them outside overnight.

The L.A. Homeless Services Authority has a winter shelter program available for those who need shelter. Locations and transportation information are online at www.lahsa.org/ or by calling the L.A. County Information line at 211 from any landline or cellphone.

Those colder temperatures have been caused by high desert winds blowing the past few days, said David Sweet, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Oxnard.

“It’s enough to dry out the air completely and allow temperatures to plummet overnight,” he said.

A new storm system is expected to move into the region early Wednesday morning with rain likely continuing through Friday, Sweet said.

Rainfall totals of roughly 1 inch are forecast in lower elevations and 2 inches in the mountains, which is considerably less than the recent slow-moving storm that brought record rainfall to many areas, he said.

The good news, he said, is the last storm and the upcoming rain have lowered the risk of wildfires in L.A. County.

“We won’t have to worry about any significant fire danger in most situations for a while because fuel moistures are coming back up,” Sweet said.

But this month’s precipitation is no drought-buster.

“As far as rainfall, we’re still in desperate need of more rain in order to recover from the drought,” Sweet said. “So we still have a long ways to go to recover.”


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