California Weather Troubles This Weekend

January 22, 2011; 1:49 PM ET
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Play video For more information on what to expect weather-wise across California, click on this video.

An area of high pressure that typically promotes calm weather will actually spell trouble for parts of California the rest of this weekend.

The high will be the culprit behind dense fog returning to the state's Central Valley, as well as another Santa Ana wind event over Southern California.

Both dangers will develop tonight and persist into Sunday, especially the first part of the day.

The winds will gust between 45 and 65 mph with those highest gusts set to be recorded in the mountains.

As is typical during any Santa Ana wind event, the strongest winds will howl across the mountains and through and below northeast-southwest oriented passes and canyons. Oxnard will turn windy, but not Downtown Los Angeles and San Diego.

The strength of the winds tonight into Sunday could down trees, power lines and road signs. Unsecured parts of buildings and lawn items may sustain damage.

The winds also threaten to overturn or steer semi-trucks and campers off roadways. This danger pertains to those motorists planning to travel out of Interstate 15's Cajon Pass towards Los Angeles.

As was the case earlier this week, a high fire danger will not accompany this Santa Ana wind event. The region's soil and vegetation remain moist from December's onslaught of torrential rain.

The Santa Ana winds will not whip across California's Central Valley, setting the stage for dense fog to return tonight into Sunday morning. Sacramento and Fresno are among the communities that the fog will blanket.

The fog threatens to dangerously lower visibility to a quarter of a mile or less, significantly heightening the risk of chain-reaction accidents. Motorists can help protect themselves against these serious wrecks by leaving plenty of distance between the vehicle they are following.

A chain-reaction accident in dense fog occurred as recently as Friday morning in California's southwestern Fresno County. KFSN-TV reports the accident involved 15 vehicles on Interstate 5. Three people sustained injuries.

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