The Los Angeles County Health Officer has issued a Cold Weather Alert due to the National Weather Service’s forecast for low temperatures for county mountain areas on Thursday, May 16 through Friday, May 17, and Sunday, May 19 through Monday, May 20.
Wind chill temperatures are expected to be below 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
In the Santa Clarita Valley, the chance of precipitation Thursday is 90%, according to the NWS. Rain and possibly a thunderstorm are expected before 11 a.m., then a slight chance of showers after 11 a.m. The high temperature will be near 65 degrees. South wind at 5 to 10 mph will become south-southwesterly at 15 to 20 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 30 mph.
On Thursday night, the service predicts a 20% chance of showers in the SCV before 11 p.m. Otherwise, the sky will be mostly clear, with a low temperature around 48. West-southwest wind at 5 to 10 mph will become north-northwesterly in the evening. Winds could gust as high as 15 mph.
Friday is expected to be sunny with a high near 68, and northwest wind at around 15 mph with gusts as high as 25 mph. Friday night, conditions should be mostly clear, and mostly sunny on Saturday, with a high near 70.
Saturday night will bring a slight chance of showers after 11 p.m. The sky will be mostly cloudy, with a low around 51.
Sunday’s forecast calls for a slight chance of showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 65. Breezy. Sunday night will be breezy, partly cloudly, with a low around 50.
Monday will be mostly sunny, with a high near 67, the service predicts.
“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,” said County Health Officer Muntu Davis, MD, MPH.
“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.”
Take precautions to protect yourself from the cold:
* 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 or by calling 2-1-1.
Santa Clarita Valley Emergency Winter Shelter
The nonprofit Bridge to Home operates the emergency winter shelter in the Santa Clarita Valley and provides other services to homeless individuals and families. The shelter is located at 23031 Drayton Street, Saugus 91350, and opens at 7 p.m. seven days a week. For more information, call 661-254-4663 or visit www.btohome.org.
Symptoms of cold weather exposure
People exposed to cold weather for prolonged periods can lose body heat and develop hypothermia. 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. 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.
Prevent carbon monoxide poisoning when heating your home
* Only use approved heaters, such as electric or natural gas heaters and fireplaces. Never use stoves, barbecues and ovens to heat your room or home, as these appliances can produce a deadly gas known as carbon monoxide that can collect inside your home.
* Install a carbon monoxide detector in your home to reduce the risk of poisoning.
* If you use an outdoor generator at home, place it at least 10 feet away from all doors and windows to avoid exhaust gases entering the home.
Carbon monoxide poisoning can cause shortness of breath, headaches, muscle and joint pain, and nausea. Exposure to high levels of carbon monoxide could lead to death within minutes. Those suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning should be taken outside, into fresh air, immediately, and should be taken to an emergency room for immediate medical treatment.
LA County residents and business owners, including people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs may also call 2-1-1 or visit www.211la.org for emergency preparedness information and other referral services 24 hours a day and seven days a week. For the deaf and hard of hearing, call the TDD line at 1-800-660-4026.