Up to 80 mph winds expected to blow through Southland, forecasters say

Powerful and possibly damaging winds are expected to sweep across Southern California on Thursday and Friday, according to the National Weather Service.

Wind gusts could exceed 60 mph in the Antelope Valley on Thursday and reach 80 mph in the mountains of Los Angeles, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, forecasters said.

“The main story will be the winds,” the weather service said in a written forecast statement.

High wind warnings have been issued for much of Southern California for Thursday afternoon and Friday morning.

“Winds will be strongest in and around the Interstate 5 corridor [Thursday] evening where gusts to between 70 and 80 mph are expected,” the weather service said.

Forecasters said wind gusts could top at 65 mph in the Santa Clarita Valley, Santa Monica Mountains and southern coast of Santa Barbara County.

In the valleys and along the coast, wind gusts could reach 50 mph.

“Especially noteworthy is that strong north winds will likely again affect the San Fernando Valley and coastal sections of L.A. County from Malibu to the Hollywood Hills, down through the Westside,” the weather service said. “It is also possible that mountain wave activity could produce brief bursts of damaging winds in areas near Lake Casitas and near the foothills in the San Gabriel Valley.”

Forecasters warned strong winds could topple trees and power lines, “which could lead to property damage and power outages.”

Gale force winds will also affect ocean waters off the Central Coast to San Nicolas Island, which 65 miles south of Point Mugu in Ventura County.

Winds are expected to peak Thursday night, forecasters said.

The winds will also bring cooler weather with most cities seeing an 8- to 14-degree drop in temperatures.

veronica.rocha@latimes.com

Twitter: VeronicaRochaLA

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