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Southern California Breaks Records During Winter Heatwave

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Los Angeles Beach

Several Southern California cities have broken heat records on Saturday amid a winter heatwave.

SoCal is known for mild winters, but these temperatures are one for the books.

The National Weather Service (NWS) is reporting at least five cities in the Southland that have reached record highs on Jan. 16.

In the San Fernando Valley, Woodland Hills felt the heat at 86 degrees, barely topping the record set in 2011 at 85 degrees.

Downtown Los Angeles was recorded to reach 88 degrees, slightly higher than the previous 86 degrees. The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) reached 88 degrees, the highest since 1976.

Oxnard also broke a record at 89 degrees with Camarillo reaching 93 degrees Saturday, both breaking the record set in 1961. Camarillo was 6 degrees higher than the previous record of 87 degrees.

In addition to the heat, Santa Ana winds are expected Monday night through Wednesday morning in Los Angeles County, according to the NWS.

“These damaging winds could down trees and powerlines,” NWS officials said Saturday. “Take steps to secure your property from wind damage. Increasing fire danger also likely.”

Santa Ana winds are strong downslope winds that blow through the mountain passes in southern California.

They are created over the Great Basin region from high-pressure air masses, which then blow down towards sea level. These winds, which can easily exceed 40 miles per hour, are warm and dry and can severely exacerbate brush or forest fires, especially under drought conditions, according to the NWS.

All of California is “abnormally dry” as of Saturday, with parts of Los Angeles County considered in severe drought.

Crash

Vehicle Crashes Over Side Of 5 Freeway In Newhall Pass

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CHP Vehicle California Highway Patrol (1)

A vehicle crashed about 30 feet over the side of the 5 Freeway onto The Old Road in the Newhall Pass Monday morning.

The crash was reported at about 10:50 a.m. Monday near The Old Road and Weldon Canyon Road in Newhall, according to officials with the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

Initial reports to the California Highway Patrol (CHP) indicated the vehicle landed on its roof after crashing down a hillside, according to CHP logs.

Two paramedic squads and ambulances were requested to the scene, according to fire officials.

The Santa Clarita Valley Search and Rescue team responded to the incident but were later canceled.

A total of two victims from one vehicle were transported to a local hospital in unknown condition, according to the department.

This is a breaking news story, more information will be added as it becomes available.

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Snow Flurries In Santa Clarita Valley Possible After Next Storm System Arrives

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5 Freeway Grapevine Snow (1)
Photo Courtesy of the CHP Fort Tejon Area Office

Snow flurries in parts of the Santa Clarita and Antelope Valleys are possible as another storm is predicted to hit the Southland.

National Weather Service (NWS) meteorologists are reporting a “brief lull” between storms Sunday morning with another system moving into Southern California in the afternoon. 

Snow accumulations across the Antelope Valley foothills could be between one to three inches near Highway 138 from Llano to Little Rock and Highway 138 west of the 14 Freeway towards Neenach to near Gorman.

The Santa Clarita Valley could see a dusting as well, according to the NWS.

Forecasters “would not be surprised” if portions of Santa Clarita Valley saw some snow flurries, especially around the foothills on Monday, according to the NWS.

Snow levels are expected to lower to 2000 feet and possibly down to 1500 feet, according to the weather service.

High winds are expected to affect portions of the Antelope Valley, a high wind watch is in effect Monday morning through the evening with gusts possibly exceeding 60 mph. 

The Los Angeles County Health Officer has issued a cold weather alert due to wind chill temperatures expected to be below freezing.

The weather alert is in effect for the Santa Clarita Valley from Monday, Jan.25 through Tuesday, Jan. 26, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

In the Antelope Valley, the alert is in effect from Sunday through Thursday, Jan. 28.

“Children, the elderly, and people with disabilities or special medical needs are especially vulnerable during cold weather. Extra precaution should be taken to ensure they don’t get too cold when they are outside,” said Dr. Muntu Davis, Los Angeles County Health Officer in a statement. “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, barbeques or ovens to heat their homes due to the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.”

Due to the predicted snow, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) Fort Tejon Area Office has implemented “Operation Snowflake” to prepare for a possible shut down of the 5 Freeway in the Grapevine. 

As of 10:30 a.m. Sunday, the I-5 remains open, with CHP officers monitoring road conditions. 

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Crash

Jackknifed Big Rig Prompts SigAlert Near Newhall Pass

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5 Freeway Crash SigAlert
Photo Courtesy of Oscar Sol

A jackknifed big rig is leaking fuel Saturday afternoon, prompting a SigAlert in Sylmar near the Newhall Pass.

The crash was first reported at about 12:05 p.m. Saturday at the northbound 5 Freeway truck route near north of the 210 Freeway, according to Brian Humphrey, spokesperson for the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD).

Upon arrival, firefighters reported a multi-vehicle collision in the truck lanes, involving a jackknifed big rig leaking diesel fuel from a punctured 100-gallon tractor tank, according to Humphrey.

LAFD personnel have stopped the leak and are working to contain the spill as of 12:30 p.m. Saturday.

The California Highway Patrol (CHP) has issued a SigAlert for the truck route transition from the westbound 210 Freeway to the northbound I-5, according to CHP logs.

All lanes of the transition are estimated to be closed for about one hour, according to the CHP.

Initial reports to the CHP indicated the collision involved three big rigs, including a tomato truck and a Freightliner.

No injuries have been reported in connection to the incident.

Photo Courtesy of Oscar Sol

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