Storm brings wind, snow, rain to Southland

A cold winter storm out of Canada brought snow to the San Gabriel Mountains Monday and strong winds in the mountains, along the coast and in L.A. County valleys.

The storm, which is lacking moisture, is headed toward Baja California and should clear out of the region later Monday, although the winds will persist another night, said National Weather Service meteorologist Todd Hall, adding that there were some showers in the L.A. Basin Sunday.

Before dawn Monday, the weather service issued a winter storm warning, scheduled to be in effect until noon, for the San Gabriel Mountains and the Antelope Valley. It said 3 to 6 inches of snow will accumulate on north-facing slopes amid wind of 25 to 40 miles per hour and 60-mile per hour gusts, with 70-mph gusts possible.

"Plan on slippery road conditions," said the NWS. "Very strong winds could cause extensive tree damage. Travel on many mountain roadways could be affected, including Interstate 5 and Highway 14 in Los Angeles County."

In the Antelope Valley, snow showers are expected in the foothills, where 1 to 3 inches may accumulate amid northeast winds gusting to 40 or 50 mph.

People planning to travel in the Antelope Valley should expect "slippery road conditions," according to the NWS. "Gusty winds could bring down tree branches. Travel on some roadways may be affected, including Highways 14 and 138, especially near the foothills. Slow down and use caution while traveling."

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A wind advisory will be in effect until 9 p.m. Tuesday along the L.A. County Coast, in metropolitan Los Angeles, Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Long Beach, the San Fernando, San Gabriel and Santa Clarita Valleys and Santa Monica Mountains Recreational Area and some valley areas of Ventura County, said the NWS. Buffeted by strong cross winds are Highways 23, 126, 101, 118 and 210, according to the weather service.

The wind is blowing at 20 to 35 miles per hour and gusting to 55 mph in the San Fernando and Santa Clarita Valleys and the Santa Monica Mountains but at around 15 to 30 mph with gusts up to 45 mph along the coast, in Los Angeles and in the San Gabriel Valley, according to the NWS. In inland Orange County -- including
Huntington Beach, Costa Mesa, Santa Ana, Anaheim, Garden Grove, Irvine, Orange, Fullerton, and Mission Viejo -- a wind advisory will be in force until noon today amid northeast winds of 15-25 mph and 50-mph gusts. It was to have been in force along the coast as well but was canceled there at 3:20 a.m. after the gusts diminished in strength.

"Damaging" gusts of 55-65 mph were also forecast in the San Gabriel Mountains and the Antelope Valley.
"Gusty winds will blow around unsecured objects and make driving difficult, especially for high-profile vehicles,'' according to the NWS. "Tree limbs could be blown down and a few power outages may result. Use extra caution when driving, especially if operating a high-profile vehicle. Secure outdoor objects."

The NWS forecast partly cloudy skies today and highs of 52 on Mount Wilson; 63 in Palmdale; 64 in Lancaster; 66 in Avalon; 67 in Saugus; 70 at LAX and in Burbank; 71 in Long Beach, Pasadena and San Gabriel; and 73 in Downtown L.A. and Woodland Hills. Tuesday's temperatures will be about the same -- though under sunny skies -- and remain at the same level until at least Sunday.

Partly cloudy skies were also forecast in Orange County, along with highs of 46 on Santiago Peak; 58 on Ortega Highway at 2,600 feet;64 at Fremont Canyon; 66 at Trabuco Canyon; 68 in Laguna Beach and San Clemente; 69 in Newport Beach, Yorba Linda and Mission Viejo; 71 in Fullerton and Anaheim; and 72 in Irvine. Temperatures will decline progressively this week by up to 5 degrees in some communities but less in others.