Strong winds topple trees all over SoCal

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A weak cold front will push through the Southland on Thursday, triggering strong, damaging winds in several areas through Friday morning, National Weather Service forecasters said.

A wind advisory signifying winds of 35 miles per hour will be in effect from 8 this morning until 10 a.m. Friday in the Santa Clarita Valley; from 10 a.m. today until 10 tonight in the San Gabriel Valley; from 10 a.m. today until noon Friday in the San Fernando Valley, L.A. County beach cities, metropolitan L.A., and the Hollywood Hills; and from noon to 6 tonight in the Santa Monica Mountains Recreational Area. A wind advisory is also in effect on Santa Catalina Island until 10 tonight.

A more serious high wind warning, which denotes winds of 40 miles per hour and 58-mph gusts, is in effect now in the San Gabriel Mountains and the Antelope Valley and due to expire at 1 a.m. Friday, and will be in effect from 6 tonight until 1 a.m. Friday in the Santa Monica Mountains Recreational Area.

The strongest winds are expected in the San Gabriel and Santa Monica Mountains. Winds of 25 to 40 mph are forecast in the San Gabriels, along with gusts of 60 and 70 mph. Slightly weaker winds are expected in the Santa Monicas, which are forecast to experience winds of 25-40 mph with 50-60-mph gusts, with about the same expected in the Antelope Valley.

In beach cities, metropolitan Los Angeles, Downtown L.A., the Hollywood Hills and the San Fernando and Santa Clarita valleys, winds of 20-30 miles are expected, along with gusts of up to 50 mph. In the San Gabriel Valley, the wind is expected to blow at 15-20 mph with 40-mph gusts.

The NWS said some big gusts were recorded in L.A. County this morning, including 53 mph in the Antelope Valley, 48 mph on Santa Catalina Island, 42 mph in the San Gabriel Mountains, and 38 mph at the Port of Los Angeles.

Strong winds are also expected today in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties.

"Winds this strong may down trees and power lines, causing property damage or power outages. Cross winds can make driving difficult, especially for drivers of high profile vehicles and vehicles towing trailers,'' warned an NWS statement.

NWS forecasters said the wind would cause problems for drivers on several area roadways, including Highways 1, 101, 14, 138, 118, 154, 192, 5, 210, 405, 10, 57, 60, and, in the Malibu area, Kanan, Malibu Canyon, Topanga, and Decker Canyon Roads. Interstate 5 through the Grapevine could be especially challenging.

The NWS forecast sunny skies in L.A. County today and highs of 50 on Mount Wilson; 57 in Lancaster; 58 in Palmdale; 64 in Saugus; 65 in Avalon; 68 at LAX; 69 in Burbank; 70 in Pasadena and San Gabriel; 71 in Downtown L.A.; and 72 in Long Beach and Woodland Hills. A sharp rise in temperatures is expected Thursday and again Friday.

Sunny skies were also forecast in Orange County, along with highs of 64 in in Laguna Beach and San Clemente; 65 in Newport Beach; 70 in Mission Viejo; 71 in Yorba Linda; 72 in Irvine; 73 in Anaheim; and 74 in Fullerton. Sharply higher temperatures are expected in Orange County Thursday.

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