Sunny skies and slightly warmer temperatures are returning to parts of Southern California, but a cold-weather advisory will remain in effect for some inland and mountain areas at least through Monday, according to forecasters.
Los Angeles County health officials issued the advisory on Wednesday, warning that freezing temperatures in the Santa Clarita Valley, Lancaster and on Mount Wilson would continue into early next week. The cold snap is also expected to continue in other valleys and inland regions, such as Woodland Hills and Pomona, through Friday.
“Shelters and other public facilities are open to those who don’t have access to a warm room,” said county health officer Dr. Muntu Davis. “It’s also important for everyone to make sure they stay safely warm — never heat a house with a stove, oven or barbecue, as this can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.”
Health risks for those who are not protected include hypothermia and frostbite. Officials warned against using unsafe heating methods, such as charcoal grills or camp stoves, which could start fires.
In response to the severe winter storms that have ravaged the state, Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency on Wednesday to support disaster relief and relief efforts in Los Angeles, San Bernardino, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and several other counties in Northern California.
Communities from Lake Arrowhead to Lake Tahoe have been ravaged by blizzards that have closed highways and stranded people with dwindling food supplies. The state’s Office of Emergency Services is working with the California Department of Transportation and San Bernardino County officials to clear mountain roads, deploying additional snow plows and road crews.
Eric Boldt, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Oxnard, said a cold front moving down from Canada was partially responsible for the most recent cold front.
“We’ve had these cold weather systems coming in from the north and amplifying the cold air,” Boldt said. “The snow that came in last week brought very low snow levels. We also have quite a bit of precipitation especially last Friday and Saturday with that front and we had another system in motion yesterday.”
Downtown Los Angeles is expected to be sunny on Thursday with a maximum temperature of 61 degrees, forecasters said. Maximum temperatures ranging from 58 to 62 degrees will continue through the weekend.
If Los Angeles peaks at 61 degrees on Thursday, that would break an eight-day streak of sub-60 temperatures that marks the city’s longest cold snap since 2005, according to the weather service.
Overnight lows in the 40s are expected to last through Sunday. Los Angeles on Thursday could tie the record for the coldest day this year. Downtown Los Angeles dropped to 40 degrees on February 16 and 26.
The National Weather Service also warned Wednesday of dangerous sea conditions, high surf and the possibility of ships capsizing. But Boldt said conditions have since improved.
Surf that peaked on Wednesday at 10 to 13 feet on Central Coast beaches and 4 to 8 feet in Los Angeles and Ventura counties has now receded “to slightly above normal” patterns of 5 to 6 feet.
“All trends are improving today in terms of sea conditions, and the clouds have cleared as the storm has moved eastward into New Mexico,” Boldt said.
Davis, the county health officer, has issued an ocean water advisory that will remain in effect until 8 a.m. Saturday, asking swimmers to stay out of the water. Recent rainfall has pushed bacteria, chemicals, debris and waste from city streets into the sea.
Health officials said those entering the water risk getting sick.