Public health officials issued a cold weather alert on Monday after the National Weather Service issued a frost advisory for parts of Los Angeles County, including the Santa Clarita Valley.
The California Highway Patrol also is prepared for the possibility that the Grapevine could shut down overnight Monday, as it did Sunday, officials said.
“The Grapevine shut down Sunday late afternoon, early night,” CHP Officer Josh Greengard said Monday. “It opened back up around 5 a.m. today, with CHP doing escorts for the first couple groups of cars.
“We are aware of the next cold front and storm approaching and are prepared to close it again if needed,” he said.
The frost advisory is to remain in effect from midnight Monday until 8 a.m. Tuesday.
On Monday, temperatures were expected to fall to between 33 and 35 degrees, according to officials at the National Weather Service office in Oxnard.
“This is a low-pressure winter storm coming down from the north,” Kathy Hoxsie, meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said Monday.
“We had a really cold storm last week, and the cold air was tapped in the lower valleys,” she said. “This additional storm will reinforce that.”
The weather office advisory reads: “In wind-sheltered areas, frost can damage sensitive plants and harm pets. In windy areas, gusty winds will make driving difficult, especially for drivers of high profile vehicles.”
A frost advisory means frost is imminent, weather officials pointed out.
“Measures should be taken to protect sensitive outdoor plants. Pets should be brought indoors,” they said.
The frost advisory prompted the Los Angeles County Health Officer to extend until Thursday a cold weather alert already in place.
“Wind chill temperatures are expected to be below 32 degrees Fahrenheit,” Dr. Muntu Davis, Los Angeles County health officer, said in the alert notice.
“Children, the elderly, and people with disabilities or special medical needs are especially vulnerable during cold weather. Extra precaution should be taken to ensure they don’t get too cold when they are outside,” he said.
“There are places where people can go to stay warm, such as shelters or other public facilities. We also want to remind people not to use stoves, barbecues or ovens to heat their homes due to the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.”
Davis listed some precautions to take against the cold, including:
- Dress in layers of warm clothing if you plan to be outdoors.
- Protect head, hands and feet from the cold by wearing a hat, scarf, gloves, and socks.
- Check on and help family members, friends and neighbors with limited mobility and limited access to heat, such as seniors or those who are ill. Check on them frequently.
- If you have pets, bring them indoors and do not leave them outside overnight.
- Take shelter during peak cold times:
If you don’t have a heater in your home, visit indoor public facilities such as shopping malls, libraries or senior centers.
The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority has a Winter Shelter Program available for those who need shelter. Locations and transportation information are online at https://www.lahsa.org/winter-shelter or by calling 2-1-1.
People exposed to cold weather for prolonged periods can lose body heat and develop hypothermia, Davis pointed out in the weather alert
Symptoms vary depending on how long you are exposed to cold temperatures. Early symptoms of hypothermia include: shivering, fatigue, loss of coordination, and confusion and disorientation.
Late symptoms of hypothermia include: no shivering, blue skin, dilated pupils, slowed pulse and breathing, and loss of consciousness.
People exposed to extremely cold weather conditions, such as places where it snows and where freezing occurs, may be at risk of frostbite. Gently warm the person and seek immediate medical care if you believe someone is showing signs of hypothermia or frostbite.
Frostbite is a bodily injury caused by freezing that results in loss of feeling and color in affected areas. The most common affected areas are the nose, ears, cheeks, chin, fingers, or toes.
Gently warm the person and seek immediate medical care if you believe someone is showing signs of hypothermia or frostbite.
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