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Climate and Environment

Got Cold Feet on Valentine's Day? Just Blame The Weather

Three palm trees blow in the wind against a crisp blue sky
Blustery, cold winds are coming this week.
(Nolte Lourens via Shutterstock)
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Don't put away your sweaters just yet — it's going to be a chilly week across Southern California.

The forecast

A cold weather system moving in tomorrow will be a mostly dry one, with just a 20% chance of rain after midnight Monday across the region, according to the National Weather Service. But we can expect blustery, cold wind gusts reaching between 60 to 70 mph across the mountains.

NWS meteorologist Richard Thompson says travelers should be wary of wintery driving conditions.

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"Snow levels will be dropping down to around 2,000 feet," he said. "There could be some travel issues for people traveling on I-5 through the Grapevine tomorrow afternoon, tomorrow night due to possibly a little light snowfall, those cold temperatures and those really strong winds."

Over in the San Bernardino Mountains, expect a total of snowfall from one to four inches reaching at 4,000 feet.

Along the coastal areas and the valleys, the winds are expected to reach up to speeds of 30 to 50 mph.

Cold weather advisories

A cold weather advisory has been issued for the following areas:

  • Santa Clarita Valley, Tuesday to Friday
  • Lancaster, Monday to Friday
  • Mount Wilson, Monday to Friday
  • San Gabriel, Tuesday to Thursday
  • Pomona, Tuesday to Thursday
  • Woodland Hills, Tuesday to Thursday
  • Burbank, Wednesday to Thursday
  • Downtown Los Angeles, Wednesday
  • Malibu, Thursday

Surfers and mariners should take precautions with a high surf advisory in place for Los Angeles and Ventura County beaches. Waves are expected to reach anywhere between 10 to 18 feet.
Make sure to check on your elderly neighbors and keep pets inside overnight.

Warmer weather by the end of the week

This cold system is not expected to last for long, however. The National Weather Service forecasts a nice, warm Thursday before another cold system enters later in the day on Friday.

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Staying warm

  • State law requires residential units to have heating systems that can keep indoor temperatures at a minimum of 70 degrees. That means every dwelling unit and guest room offered for rent or lease should offer heating equipment, usually central air conditioning (A/C) or a wall heater. — Caitlin Hernández

  • Use heat smartly to save money: Cranking things like the A/C and wall heaters can be expensive. If money is tight, be judicious about how and when you use your utilities. For example, only use heaters at night or only set the thermostat to around 70 degrees.

  • Open and close those vents: If you have central A/C, look at where the vents are around your home. Are any open in places where you don’t stay long? Practice opening and closing those so warm air only goes where you need it (most vents should have a small toggle lever). Humidifiers can also help you warm things up — and it’s useful to add moisture into our dry air.

  • Adjust your wall heaters: If you have a wall heater, you can change the output by adjusting the knob (usually at the bottom). Since wall heaters can only warm the areas where they’re placed, it’s essential to close doors to rooms you won’t be in so hot air doesn’t get wasted.

  • Turn on your ceiling fan (really): If you have a ceiling fan, try turning it on. This sounds counterintuitive, but there’s science behind it. The direction a fan turns can push air in different directions, and since hot air floats up, you’ll want to move that around. Your fan should spin clockwise to create an updraft to circulate. Not all fans will have this option, though.

What questions do you have about Southern California?

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