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.
— NWS Sacramento (@NWSSacramento) February 25, 2021
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.
Here's a map view of the peak wind gusts (mph) since midnight and as of 1044 am PST. Numerous observations of gusts over 60 mph. Winds will diminish this afternoon with another Santa Ana expected on Sat night and Sunday, #CAwx #LAwind pic.twitter.com/tNLZsdAycg
— NWS Los Angeles (@NWSLosAngeles) February 25, 2021
The highest wind gust today was 98 mph at Marshall Peak! Most of the top 10 peak gusts were in San Bernardino county, near the foothills of the mountains and below the Cajon Pass.
— NWS San Diego (@NWSSanDiego) February 25, 2021
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.
That atmospheric dinner guest that just won't leave… pic.twitter.com/4CV5p4ytqH
— NWS San Diego (@NWSSanDiego) February 26, 2021
Winds may peak again across a wider area of southern California Saturday night into Sunday as the Santa Ana winds continue.
Another system moving south through the area Sunday will result in a bout of strong gusty north wind across the western deserts. Peak gusts to at least 35 mph at times likely. No rain expected and highs will again fall back into the 60s. #azwx #cawx pic.twitter.com/CysMuT6SIk
— NWS Phoenix (@NWSPhoenix) February 26, 2021
WeatherNation will keep you posted on-air and online with the latest updates on the strong winds in the Southwest.