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High winds and downpours hit California on Friday; weekend to clean

High winds continued to blow across Southern California on Friday, as a cold storm moved across the state, also bringing showers, thunderstorms and mountain snow – as well as the risk of blackouts power and dangerous air quality.

The fast-moving system is expected to leave the area by Saturday morning, giving way to a warmer, clearer weekend, according to the National Weather Service.

But on Friday, the risk of significant precipitation in the Southland remained minor, although “the effect that everyone is going to notice is the wind,” said Todd Hall, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Oxnard.

Wind gusts early Friday had already reached 60 and 70 mph in some places in the Coachella Valley, including across the San Gorgonio Pass on Interstate 10, according to the National Weather Service. Some of the strongest gusts were recorded not far from where Stagecoach Country Music Festival began Friday in Indio.

That area – the Coachella Valley and eastern Riverside County – remained under a windblown dust advisory, warning of hazardous air quality, until Friday evening, according to the District South Coast Air Quality Management, while much of the rest of the region had severe wind advisories. Indeed.

The Coachella and Apple valleys as well as the mountains of Riverside and San Bernardino counties are expected to experience the strongest winds in the region, with gusts up to 65 mph through Friday evening, and sustained winds expected from 30 to 45 mph, depending on location. wind warning.

In the Antelope Valley and nearby foothills, as well as along the Interstate 5 corridor, including Tejon Pass, peak winds were expected through early Saturday, with gusts reaching up to 60 mph , according to the National Weather Service’s strong wind warning. Forecasters said “destructive winds could bring down trees and power lines. Widespread power outages are possible. Travel will be difficult, especially for high-end vehicles.

On the coasts and valleys of Los Angeles County, winds are expected to reach 20 to 45 mph Friday afternoon and evening, triggering a wind advisory until 9 p.m. In these areas, the weather service warned that “gusty winds will blow around unsecured objects.” Tree branches could be blown down and some power outages could result.

The storm also brings a risk of light showers, mainly in the mountains and foothills of Southern California, Hall said, including the possibility of a few snow showers along the highest peaks.

“In general, we’re going to see some showers develop today over the higher terrain,” Hall said Friday, but noted that showers are possible throughout the region.

Farther south and east, San Diego County and parts of the Central Valley were most likely to see precipitation Friday, according to the weather service, but rain totals were not expected to exceed a few tenths of an inch.

However, in the Sierra Nevada, snowfall could reach a few centimeters, according to forecasts.

A risk of thunderstorms will also develop in the Sierra and adjacent foothills Friday afternoon and evening, bringing lightning and flooding, the weather service warned.

A high surf advisory is also in effect for most west-facing beaches in Southern California from Friday afternoon through Saturday morning, with breaking waves reaching 4 to 8 feet and dangerous rip currents, a notified the meteorological service.

But by Saturday, things should calm down — although Hall said some higher elevations could continue to see persistent winds.

After Friday, “otherwise dry weather can be expected along with progressively warmer temperatures this weekend through the middle of next week,” according to the National Weather Service forecast discussion.

California Daily Newspapers

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