Winds thrash Southern California, temperatures drop in region

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Dangerous winds continued to thrash Southern California on Sunday, causing some power outages in Los Angeles neighborhoods and triggering warnings that Interstate 5 near the Grapevine could be shut down because of snow and ice.

A wind advisory remained in effect across Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties until 7 p.m. Sunday, with gusts ranging from 25 mph to 50 mph across the region. Gusts of up 70 mph are possible in mountain areas, said meteorologist Robbie Munroe of the National Weather Service.

Wind advisories remained in effect in San Diego, Riverside and San Bernardino counties until Sunday at noon, officials said. There is also a slight chance of rain Sunday night in the coastal and valley regions.

Temperatures across the region ranged from the low to mid-50s on Sunday and were expected to drop into the 40s overnight, according to the weather service. Valley areas could see temperatures dip to the low 30s, Munroe said.

“Take extra care with pets and plants,” he said.

The cold air has also brought snowfall, icy conditions and fog along Interstate 5 near the Grapevine, which has made for hazardous driving conditions, prompting authorities to warn drivers about delays and possible closure of the busy roadway. A crash involving dozens of vehicles on a foggy stretch of Interstate 5 near Bakersfield on Saturday left two people dead and nine others injured.

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power reported power outages throughout its service area on Sunday affecting more than 2,500 customers, according to its website. Southern California Edison’s website reported 17 outages in Los Angeles County affecting more than 3,600 customers, and three outages affecting 384 customers in Orange County.

Although the latest cold front might remind Southern Californians of last year’s massive winter storm, Munroe said that current conditions decrease the odds of witnessing a similar white winter.

“This is a pretty cold system, but it lacks the combination of cold and moisture that we saw last year,” he said.

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