LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Hot, windy weather hitting Southern California Thursday is prompting warnings about heat-related illnesses, driving in the mountains and wind-prone areas, and not traveling into other counties to visit the beach.
A high wind warning was in effect in and around the Grapevine, which could get gusts of up to 75 mph. Such strong winds could bring down trees and power lines, causing outages, and make driving on Highway 33, the 5 Freeway and 14 Freeway harrowing.
Temperatures along the coasts are expected to reach the upper 80s, while inland areas are expected to see 90s. The National Weather Services says people who work outdoors should take extra precautions to avoid heat stroke, and LA Mayor Eric Garcetti says the city is making preparations for non-traditional cooling center options for seniors and residents without air conditioning.
But foremost in officials’ minds is the Southern Californian tradition of flocking to beaches in hot weather. Los Angeles County beaches are closed, but some are open in Orange County and are reopening in Ventura County. City and public health officials are asking people to continue staying home to slow the spread of coronavirus and resist the urge to beat the heat at the beach.
“As we come upon this weekend, and we see the increased temperature and we see other parts of this region opening their spaces, I know that there’ll be opportunities for people to think, ‘Why not here?’ and ‘Let’s just go out there,’” LAPD Chief Michel Moore said.
Moore said people should continue avoiding nonessential activities, a sentiment echoed by LA County Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer.
“It’s very important even with the good weather that people do not congregate together outside,” she said. “So enjoy the outdoors alone or with other members of your household. And this means please take a walk, go for a jog or sit outside in your yard and allow your children to be outside and enjoy this beautiful weather. But you need to do it as a household and not to congregate in places and spaces that are beautiful but will defeat our need for us to keep our distance still.”
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)