Santa Ana winds to whip across Southern California late this week
A week of relatively dry weather along the West Coast will be topped off with a Southern California Santa Ana wind event into Saturday.
“An area of high pressure will strengthen over southern Idaho and northern Nevada,” said AccuWeather Meteorologist Brett Rossio.
This atmospheric setup is the first sign that strong northeasterly winds, known as a Santa Ana, could build into Southern California.
As the winds descend off the higher terrain to the west of the Mojave Desert, they will intensify and bring strong, gusty winds to the canyons, mountain and coastal regions of Southern California.
Winds are expected to persist through Friday and much of Saturday.
“Santa Ana winds gusting as high as 55 mph will be possible along the Southern California coastlines,” said Rossio.
Strong winds caused a trailer to roll over near Ontario, California, causing the I-10 connector and part of Route 15 to be shut down on Friday afternoon, the department of highways said.
Winds also lead to over 1500 power outages across southern California on Friday afternoon, Southern California Edison reported.
Wind gusts approached 90 miles per hour in Orange County on Friday afternoon. The highest recorded gust as of Saturday morning was 96 mph, which slammed a weather station on Sill Hill in San Diego county, according to the National Weather Service in San Diego, California.
Due to the sheltering effects of local terrain, downtown Los Angeles and San Diego will escape the powerful winds as is often the case.
However, gusty winds will reach the coastal waters and islands.
Towns within and around the San Gabriel Mountains and Cleveland National Forest can expect wind gusts exceeding 55 mph.
"Due to the saturated state of the ground, there is a much higher chance of trees coming down and catching power lines, compared to usual with this sort of event," according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Ken Clark.
Outdoor furniture and other objects should be securely fastened or moved indoors.
High-profile vehicles traveling to and within Southern California should be aware of strong winds.
Santa Ana events tend to bring dry gusts through the region, increasing fire danger. However, the recent rainfall and relatively cool air currently in place will result in a minimal wildfire threat this time around.
The strong offshore winds will help to push weekend temperatures up to average levels after a cool week in the Los Angeles Basin and surrounding areas.Report a Typo
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