Santa Ana winds hit Southern California, rain on the way



LOS ANGELES — Strong Santa Ana winds will whip across portions of the Southland today, producing 40-mile-per-hour gusts in the San Fernando, Santa Clarita and San Gabriel valleys, and showers are expected later in the week, forecasters said.

A wind advisory denoting the expectation of sustained winds or gusts of at least 35 mph will be in force until 3 p.m. in the San Gabriel and Santa Monica mountains and the San Fernando, Santa Clarita and San Gabriel valleys. The eastern foothills of the San Gabriel Valley will be especially windy, forecasters said.

The winds will make driving difficult, especially for operators of high- profile vehicles and especially on Interstate 5, the Antelope Valley (14) Freeway, Pearblossom (SR23) Highway, and the 101 and 118 freeways, NWS forecasters said.

In the mountains, winds of 20 to 30 mph are expected, along with 45-mph gusts, although gusts of 55 mph are possible across ridge tops in the San Gabriels, according to the NWS. In the valleys, the wind is forecast to blow at between 15 and 25 mph and produce 40-mph gusts.

In San Bernardino County, the California Highway Patrol posted a wind advisory for portions below the Cajon Pass along the 15 Freeway near the 210 Freeway. The National Weather Service showed winds in the area could reach 30 mph Tuesday with gusts of up to 45 mph. They are expected to subside some Wednesday.

The NWS forecast sunny skies in L.A. County today and highs of 57 in Palmdale; 58 in Lancaster; 64 on Mount Wilson; 65 in Saugus; 66 in Avalon; 67 in San Gabriel, Burbank and at LAX; 68 in downtown L.A. and Pasadena; 69 in Long Beach; and 71 in Woodland Hills.

Wednesday’s temperatures will be several degrees higher in L.A. County and marginally higher still on Thursday but dip by more than 10 degrees in some communities amid showers on Friday and by several degrees more — down to the 50s — amid more showers on Saturday.

In the Inland Empire, more wet and snowy weather is expected for the weekend, with showers forecast to move in on Thursday night into Friday morning, according to the NWS. The incoming weather system should also drop snow into the local mountains.

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The precipitation expected Friday and Saturday will result from a storm system that originated in the Gulf of Alaska and is expected to be off the coast of Mexico Wednesday, when it will turn around as part of an unusual pattern and head for the Southland, making itself felt possibly starting late Thursday night, said NWS meteorologist Dave Bruno. It could produce between a quarter and half-inch of rain.

That system will linger on Saturday, when the Southland will be struck by a second weather system, a cold storm from Western Canada, Bruno said, adding it has a better chance than the first storm to generate heavy downpours, thunderstorms and snow at low elevations.

San Bernardino Sun Staff Writer Beatriz Valenzuela contributed to this report.

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