LA County Health Officials Warn of Below-Freezing Temperatures, Rain

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LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Overnight temperatures are expected to drop significantly in parts of the Southland this week, prompting health officials to issue a cold weather alert for affected areas -- while a storm system is expected to bring a chance of rain to the region by week's end.

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health's cold weather alert went into effect Monday and will run through Thursday in Lancaster, Tuesday and Wednesday in the Santa Clarita Valley, and Monday through Friday at Mount Wilson.

"Children, the elderly and people with disabilities or special medical needs are especially vulnerable during cold weather," Los Angeles County Health Officer Dr. Muntu Davis said in a statement.

"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. 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."

Residents were also urged to frequently check on and help family members, friends and neighbors with limited mobility and limited access to heat, such as seniors and those who are ill, and to avoid leaving pets outdoors overnight.

The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority has a Winter Shelter Program available for those who need shelter. Locations and transportation information are online at or through the L.A. County Information line by calling 211.

A wind advisory was in effect for parts of Los Angeles County from 3 p.m. Monday until noon Tuesday.

Southwest winds from 20 to 30 mph with gusts of up to 45 mph are expected in Los Angeles County mountains, Mount Pinos, Acton and Mount Wilson. Winds were expected to shift to northwest and increase to 25 to 35 mph with gusts up to 55 mph Monday night.

Gusty winds and reduced visibility from dust can make driving difficult. The NWS says travel may be affected on Highway 14 and Highway 138, especially near the foothills.

Meanwhile, according to the National Weather Service, a storm system is expected to arrive in the Southland by Thursday, with rain likely over a two- day span, with the bulk of precipitation anticipated Thursday night through Friday morning.

Forecasters said more than an inch of rain could fall over the two-day period in much of the Los Angeles area, including possibly 1.3 inches in the Santa Clarita area. Some mountain areas could get 2 to 4 inches of rain, according to the NWS. Snow levels are expected to remain above 6,000 feet.

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