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Damaging Wind Gusts Possible Across the Southwest

26 Feb 2021, 5:00 am

Another round of strong and gusty winds is expected across the Southwest today (Friday) into this weekend. While this isn’t unusual for this time of year, gusts with this event could be strong enough to down trees, power lines, or topple over high profile vehicles. Offshore winds in the Southern California region could also briefly lead to dry enough conditions for critical fire danger.

Winds began to ramp up in Northern California on Tuesday, including over the Northern Sierra where a gust reached 100 miles per hour in the Alpine Meadows area west of Lake Tahoe. Since these winds have been in an offshore direction, it is also leading to above average temperatures, nearing 80° F in some California cities.

Wind alerts have now been extended into this weekend in southern California, mainly in the valleys and mountains.

Some of the strongest gusts are expected in the mountains and foothills surrounding Los Angeles. Peak gusts to 80 mph could down trees and powerlines, highlighted by the graphic below produced by the National Weather Service in Los Angeles.

Santa Ana wind events often form from high pressure building over the Great Basin, but this event will be spurred by the strong winds wrapping around a strong upper-level trough digging quickly through the Southwest.

Blowing dust and reduced visibility will be possible at times in the deserts. Motorists in all regions should exercise caution while driving in strong winds, especially in lighter, high profile vehicles.

Winds may peak again across a wider area of southern California Saturday night into Sunday as the Santa Ana winds continue.

WeatherNation will keep you posted on-air and online with the latest updates on the strong winds in the Southwest.

About the author
Mace was born and raised in Minnesota, where his intrigue for weather and broadcasting grew at a young age. His 30 years in broadcasting have taken him all across the Midwest and in the South. During high school and college, Mace first worked at a number of radio stations which helped pay tuition bills and get him ready for a career in television. His first TV Meteorology job was in Wausau, WI, fo... Load Morellowed by stops in Grand Rapids, MI, Fort Myers, FL, Tampa, FL, Cedar Rapids, IA and then across the country on WeatherNation. Mace is one of our Digital Meteorologists, posting weather stories on our website and social media accounts. He is also a game-day Meteorologist for the Minnesota Twins.