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Gusty Winds Expected to Blow Through Southland

Patch file photo.
Patch file photo.

Gusty winds will whip across parts of Southern California today as high surf pounds the shores of Los Angeles County and strong rip currents threaten swimmers, National Weather Service forecasters said.

The northerly winds that will buffet parts of the region through at least Friday morning are the result of  "a tightening surface pressure gradient" accompanying a passing cold front, according to an NWS advisory.

A wind advisory will be in effect from 10 a.m. to midnight in the Antelope Valley, from 3 p.m. today until noon Friday in the San Gabriel Mountains in Los Angeles and Ventura counties, and from 6 tonight until noon Friday in the San Fernando and Santa Clarita valleys and the Santa Monica Mountains Recreational Area.

During the advisory period, the western Antelope Valley and the Interstate 5 corridor in the San Gabriels will be swept by winds blowing at sustained speeds of between 20 and 35 miles per hour -- northwest to north in the Antelope Valley, west to northwest in the mountains -- accompanied by 50- mph gusts, according to an NWS advisory.

Around the Antelope Valley, high winds could affect traffic on the Antelope Valley (14) Freeway and Pearblossom (state Route 138) Highway, it said. Along with shaking high-profile vehicles, the winds could churn up sand and dust, sharply reducing visibility, forecasters said.

Along the L-A. County Coast, including at Santa Catalina, high surf and strong rip currents are expected from this evening and Friday night, forecasters said. A beach hazard statement will be in force in Los Angeles County during that period while a more ominous high surf advisory will be in effect in Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties.

The coastal threat stems from a "moderate long-period west swell" developing today, according to the NWS.

In Los Angeles County, the surf will build to between 4 and 6 feet, with 8-foot sets expected across west-facing beaches.

"Elevated surf will create strong and dangerous rip currents in the surf zone as well as waves that can suddenly wash people off rocks and jetties," warned an NWS advisory. "Caution should be used when in or near the water. Stay near occupied lifeguard towers, and never swim alone. If caught in a rip current, swim parallel to the shore."

The NWS is forecasting partly cloudy skies today and highs of 63 on Mount Wilson; 64 in Avalon and Newport Beach; 67 at LAX; 70 in Long Beach; 71 in downtown L.A; 72 in Anaheim; 73 in Pasadena, San Gabriel, Burbank, Palmdale and Lancaster; and 74 in Woodland Hills and Saugus.

—City News Service

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