A weekend of possibly brutal Santa Ana winds in Southern California

Strong Santa Ana winds expected to last until Sunday

Strong Santa Ana winds with potentially damaging gusts of up to 70 mph are expected to sweep across the mountains of Los Angeles and Ventura counties Friday night through Sunday.

Forecasters expect wind gusts will be the strongest in the mountains, bringing the possibility of downed trees and power lines, according to the National Weather Service. Building high pressure will bring fierce winds that could reach 50 mph in the valleys and coastal areas.

Forecasters warned that the strong winds could push fire danger conditions to the critical level.

Along the coast, a westerly swell also will develop Friday afternoon, producing 10- to 12-foot surf off Central California. West-facing beaches in Ventura and Los Angeles counties could see waves that reach 5 feet.

Once the period of high winds and high surf passes, showers may move into Southern California on Monday and Tuesday.

Forecasters were unable yet to predict where the rain could fall and how much rainfall the storm might produce.

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