A freeze warning was in effect this morning in the San Fernando and Santa Clarita valleys and in the Santa Monica Mountains while a less serious frost advisory was in force in the San Gabriel Valley.
Both the warning and the advisory were scheduled to expire at 9 a.m. on a day when a warming trend was expected to get underway, sending temperatures in some communities close to the mid 60s.
“There will likely be four to eight hours of temperatures at or slightly below freezing, with the coldest areas between Thousand Oaks and Woodland Hills where temperatures could fall briefly into the mid 20s,” an NWS statement said in explaining why it issued the freeze warning, the most serious cold-weather warning in Los Angeles County this week.
An even more serious hard freeze warning was in effect to the north in Ventura County. A freeze warning indicates an expectation of temperatures of between 29 and 32 degrees Fahrenheit for two consecutive hours. A hard freeze warning means temperatures of 28 or less for at least two hours.
In the San Gabriel Valley, a frost advisory was set to expire at 9 a.m., with the NWS saying it expects at least two hours of temperatures at or just below freezing.
NWS forecasters attributed this week’s early-morning cold weather to a dry air mass and stressed that animals and sensitive vegetation must be brought indoors in such conditions.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health warned that some people are particularly vulnerable in cold weather and issued a cold weather alert through Friday.
“Children, the elderly and people with disabilities or special medical needs area especially vulnerable during such cold snaps,” said Los Angeles County’s interim health officer, Dr. Jeffrey Gunzenhauser. “Extra precaution should be taken to ensure they don’t get too cold when they are outside. There are places where people can go to stay warm, such as shelters or other public facilities.”
Gunzenhauser warned against the use of stoves, barbecues or ovens to heat homes “due to the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.”
Information on temporary shelters can be found online at the health department’s website at www.lahsa.org. Click on the site’s “get help” tab, then “winter shelter.”
Temperatures will approach the mid-60s today in several Southland communities, and sunny skies are forecast. Thursday’s highs will be the same or minimally higher. Conditions will turn partly cloudy Saturday, and rain is expected Monday and Tuesday.