Santa Ana winds, mountain gusts to 75 mph expected Wednesday evening

A strong streak of Santa Ana winds is expected to blow through Ventura and Los Angeles counties Wednesday night, sending gusts of up to 75 miles per hour into the mountains, the National Weather Service said.

Winds are expected to increase overnight and peak Thursday.

“During tomorrow’s peak, we expect, generally, gusts between 40 and 60 miles per hour over the coastal valleys,” National Weather Service meteorologist Ryan Kittell said Wednesday.

Gusts of 60 to 75 mph can be expected in the mountains.

The winds will increase the risk of power outages and downed trees, especially for weakly rooted trees in soil still wet from the deluge of storms earlier this month.

The Santa Anas are not unusual at this time of year, Kittell noted, but the current system could be bolstered by a high-pressure system that has stationed itself off the coast.

“We don’t necessarily need to have this high pressure area off the coast to get [Santa Anas],” he said. “It probably plays a role. But it’s not the only thing at play.”

The high pressure system is pushing low pressure systems with rain and cooler temperatures north, leaving much of California and the West Coast dry and warmer than usual for the next few days.

The event, dubbed the “omega block,” brought warmer temperatures to the Bay Area, with San Francisco hitting a high of 66 degrees on Wednesday after several days of barely above 60 degrees.

“It looks like the winds will calm down pretty quickly on Thursday night,” Kittell said, adding that Friday and Saturday would be “pretty boring weather-wise.”

But things could get interesting on Sunday, when another storm system is expected to move into Southern California, possibly bringing another bout of rain.


Los Angeles Times

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