Gusty winds hammer SoCal , prompting warnings of blowing debris, dust

Gusty winds battered much of the Southland Tuesday, putting motorists on edge due to blowing debris and contributing to potentially unhealthy air quality due to blowing dust.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District issued a dust advisory that will be in effect until 3 p.m. for coastal and central Los Angeles County and the Santa Clarita, San Fernando and San Gabriel valleys. The AQMD warned that the high winds and dry conditions can lead to air-quality levels ranging from moderate to unhealthy for sensitive groups.

"Air quality can vary hour by hour and by location depending on wind conditions," according to the agency. "South Coast AQMD encourages those in areas of direct impact to limit exposure by remaining indoors with windows and doors closed and avoiding vigorous physical activity."

Blowing dust can also lead to poor visibility for motorists.

The advisory came amid high wind warning that will be in effect until 10 a.m. in the 

 mountains and the Santa Clarita Valley.

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"People should avoid being outside in forested areas and around trees and branches," the National Weather Service advised. "If possible, remain in the lower levels of your home during the windstorm, and avoid windows. Use caution if you must drive."

A less severe wind advisory will be in place until 10 a.m. in the San Gabriel Valley, Malibu Coast, Santa Monica Mountains, county beaches, the San Fernando Valley and inland coast including downtown Los Angeles. A wind advisory will be in effect until 9 p.m. in the Antelope Valley and until 3 a.m. on Catalina Island.

A wind advisory will take effect at 1 p.m. in Orange County coastal and inland areas, continuing until 7 p.m.

Overnight, wind gusts topped 50 mph at Castaic Lake, reached 46 mph in Saugus and blew near 40 mph in areas such as Newhall. A gust of 70 mph was recorded in the Sandberg area in the Los Angeles County mountains, while Warm Springs saw 60 mph gusts, according to the NWS.

Even coastal areas such as Santa Monica and San Pedro recorded gusts at or near 40 mph early Tuesday morning.

NWS forecasters said gusty conditions will continue into Wednesday in some areas.

"Gusty northwest winds will continue through mid-week across portions of the region," according to the NWS. "Temperatures will be below normal through mid-week, then it will be a bit warmer for the end of the work week. There is a slight chance of showers across northern areas late Friday into Saturday with a cooling trend. Then turning warmer early next week."

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