A cold weather alert and freeze watch warning were issued Wednesday due to cold temps in the Antelope Valley and Los Angeles County mountains and beaches from Topanga to Palos Verdes were closed because of lightning.
The alert issued by Los Angeles County's interim health officer, Dr. Jeffrey Gunzenhauser, warned of expected wind chill temperatures below freezing beginning Wednesday night and extending through Sunday.
"Children, the elderly and people with disabilities or special medical needs are especially vulnerable during such cold snaps," Gunzenhauser said. "Extra precaution should be taken to ensure they don't get too cold when they are outside."
Top news of the day
Gunzenhauser noted that shelters and other public facilities offer places where people can stay warm, and he also warned against using stoves, barbecues or ovens to heat homes because of the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Locations available through a Winter Shelter Program for seniors and others looking to stay warm can be viewed on the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority's website or by calling the county's 211 information line.
A TDD line for the deaf or hearing impaired is available at (800) 660-4026. According to the National Weather Service, "a cold and dry air mass will settle over the region and bring sub-freezing temperatures" to the Antelope Valley and other interior areas of Los Angeles County.
A freeze watch is in effect for late Wednesday through Thursday morning, with several hours of temperatures between 27 and 32 degrees expected, according to the NWS.
"Sensitive plants and crops can be damaged and unsheltered animals can be harmed," the weather service advised. "Protective measures to save outdoor plants may be needed. Vulnerable animals and pets should be kept indoors in a house or barn."