Southern California breaking news and trends

A gust of wind, a dog barks, cue the truck: High winds tip big rig and down power lines in SoCal

blowing in the wind

Photo by Andrea D'Ippolito via Flickr Creative Commons

From the mountains to the coastlines, Santa Ana winds have prompted High Wind Warnings across Southern California until 2:00 p.m. on Friday.

Already, winds have cause traffic accidents, freeway congestion and downed utility lines. Above Point Mugu an 83 mph gust was reported Friday morning at Ventura County's Laguna Peak, the National Weather Service said.

On the roads, a tractor-trailer rig was flipped onto its side blocking two lanes of the westbound I-210 freeway below the Cajon Pass, a California Department of Transportation spokeswoman said. 

In Fontana, where 50 mph winds were registered, utility lines came down over the westbound I-10 freeway and were reportedly scraping the tops of trucks.

Winds are expected to lose their oomph in Los Angeles and Ventura County by Friday afternoon.

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Not the day to play with matches: Santa Ana winds close school, create fire weather danger

Uprooted tree near Griffith Park

Tony Pierce / KPCC

A large tree near Los Feliz Blvd. was uprooted by strong winds near Griffith Park last year.

Santa Ana winds, true to Steely Dan prediction, are here again. A significant and dangerous wind event with conditions conducive to rapid fire growth, is expected across Ventura and Los Angeles from Friday to Saturday afternoon.

Gusty winds will increase throughout the morning, with the strongest blows expected to reach 60-70 mph across the mountain regions, the National Weather Service warns. In valley and coastal areas, north to northeast winds and gusts should reach about 35-55 mph.

Potential hazards include the usual suspects: downed trees, destroyed power lines, and dangerous cross-winds for high vehicles.

Additionally, the extremely dry air (with relative humidity dropping into the single digits and teens) combined with the strong offshore winds, will produce critical fire weather conditions across a majority of Los Angeles and Ventura counties.

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