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Climate and Environment

More Power Outages, Downed Lines As High Winds Blow Through Southern California

Trees appear to be sliding down the side of a road as people in work crew vests and hard hats look on
A public works crew looks at a damaged hillside above Mulholland Drive in L.A.
(Patrick T. Fallon
AFP via Getty Images)
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It's chilly and windy ... again.

The National Weather Service reports that Wednesday is the last day of this weaker storm system. Most of the heavier rain passed through overnight. Despite promises of less extreme weather, swaths of the region saw bouts of heavy hail and high winds, with breaks of sunny skies that seem unfamiliar at this point in these storms.

Winds were so high that the L.A. Department of Water and Power is reporting a new round of outages. LADWP officials reported about 25,000 customers had no power as of Wednesday afternoon.

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"Our crews are currently responding to multiple outages that have occurred as a result of strong winds from this afternoon," LADPW said in a statement. "We have dispatched crews to areas of fallen trees, downed power poles and downed wires as public safety is a priority."

Please call 911 if you see a downed power line and steer clear of the area — coming in contact can be deadly.

Current LADWP outage map

As of 4 p.m. Wednesday, an additional 9,799 Southern California Edison customers were without power — more than 1,700 in L.A. County and more than 2,300 in San Bernardino County.

It was a good time to pull out those stylish windbreakers you may have picked up at a thrift store,or borrowed from a relative's closet who flashed them around in the 80's — it's going to be fairly windy.

"We're expecting strong, west winds, along with this storm, and it's also pretty chilly out there. We're gonna have another day with below normal temperatures, once again, not getting to 60 today," said John Dumas with the National Weather Service in a morning update.

Yes, we're in a cold streak

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Those sustained chilly temps means Wednesday marks the eighth day in a Los Angeles County cold streak that hasn't seen temperatures higher than 60 degrees. The average high temperature on March 1 in L.A. is usually around 68 degrees.

The last time the area saw an eight-day cold streak was back in 2005. But the longest record for a cold streak was in 1949, when temperatures stayed below 60 degrees for 20 days. (20 days!)

More snow Wednesday

And, there's going to be more snow.

Snowfall will continue to cover the mountains and foothills up into the evening, with lower elevations at 1,500 feet seeing about 2 inches of snow and higher elevations at 4,000 feet like Tejon Pass will get up to 8 inches of snow. Any higher areas will see up to a foot of snowfall.

Wednesday is also not a good day to go near the beaches.

A high surf advisory is in effect for beaches in Los Angeles and Ventura counties.

A visual reminder of how much snow we got

This was the change in the view from space from Feb. 10 to Feb. 26, courtesy of a NASA satellite.

An animation shows the massive rise in snowfall over Southern California going from largely brown to big swaths of white.
(Pictures courtesy NASA)

What remains closed

Speaking of the Tejon Pass ...

Caltrans says the Grapevine is closed in both directions due to heavy snow and ice on both directions. There is a "snow gate" open to allow northbound vehicles to turn back to the L.A. area.

Keep in mind conditions are changing frequently so please check the status of roads before you head out.

What's next

Dumas says the agency is monitoring the area for a chance of another storm system coming through next week.

"It should dry out at least for the next several days and slowly warm up, with the next chance of rain probably around next Thursday," said Dumas.

Elsewhere in California

If you were planning on a trip to Yosemite ... don't. At least, not for a while, according to info from park officials.

Resort areas around the Angeles National Forest are also being burdened with snow-related issues, such as avalanche danger.

Where mudslides are a concern

The L.A. County Department of Public Works is anticipating debris flows in some recently burned areas through Sunday, including near the:

  • Land fire burn scar in La Tuna Canyon
  • Fish fire burn scar in Duarte
  • Grandview fire burn scar in Glendale
  • Ranch2 fire burn scar  in Mountain Cove
  • Bobcat fire burn scar in Monrovia, Juniper Hills, Devil’s Punchbowl, and Valyermo
  • Lake fire burn scar in Lake Hughes
  • Tujunga fire burn scar in Sunland-Tujunga
  • Soledad fire burn scar in Agua Dulce
  • Equestrian fire burn scar in Castaic

Where to find winter shelters in L.A. and Orange counties

The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority is offering over 500 motel vouchers for the unhoused population due to the severe weather. For a referral to the site closest to you, call 211.

"Not only will 211 tell you where to go, but they can arrange transportation either through a LAHSA outreach team or other means to ensure that that person gets to a safe bed tonight," said Ahmad Chapman, LAHSA's communications director.

Outreach workers have been visiting encampments near rivers and creeks, offering sleeping bags and tents, and showing people where to seek higher ground if they don't want access to the winter shelter programs, as well.

Here are the other shelter sites throughout L.A. County:

[View the document here if it doesn't load above for you: L.A. County winter shelters]

What questions do you have about the weather we're experiencing?
A massive winter storm is hitting Southern California. We're here to answer your questions.

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