Sunday, June 16, 2024

Santa Ana winds to blow into region Wednesday night with 75 mph gusts in the mountains

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

The winds are expected to increase in strength overnight and peak on Thursday.

“During the peak tomorrow, we are expecting, in general, gusts between 40 and 60 miles per hour over the coastal valley areas,” 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 that is still damp from the deluge of storms earlier this month.

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

“We don’t necessarily need to have that high-pressure area off the coast to get [Santa Anas],” he said. “That’s probably playing a factor. But it’s not the only thing at play.”

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

The event, called an “omega block,” has brought warmer temperatures to the Bay Area, with San Francisco seeing a high of 66 degrees on Wednesday after several days of barely surpassing 60 degrees.

“It does look like the winds will calm down pretty quickly Thursday night,” Kittell said, adding that Friday and Saturday would be “pretty boring as far as weather is concerned.”

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

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