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Strong and cold Santa Ana winds forecast for Southern California

Fishermen set up on the Long Beach side of the San Gabriel River jetty
Fishermen set up on the Long Beach side of the San Gabriel River jetty on an unseasonably warm winter day on Jan. 14.
(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

Strong and cold Santa Ana winds are forecast to blow through Southern California starting Monday night, with gusts reaching up to 90 miles per hour in the mountains, according to the National Weather Service.

Widespread damaging winds are expected throughout Los Angeles County and the surrounding region. The winds have the potential to down trees or power lines from now through Wednesday.

Winds could blow from 60 to 75 miles per hour from the Hollywood Hills down to Malibu and in the San Fernando and San Gabriel valleys, said Todd Hall, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Oxnard. The weather service issued a red flag warning for Los Angeles and Ventura counties Monday night through Tuesday night.

“There’s a pretty good threat of downed power lines,” Hall said, and residents should be aware of their surroundings when going outside. On Tuesday, drivers should also expect windy conditions due to crosswinds. The winds also have the potential of contributing to potential fire conditions, which are further exacerbated by a lack of rainfall, Hall said.

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Due to the extreme conditions, Anaheim officials announced the closure of the COVID-19 vaccine distribution site at Disneyland. Orange County began using the resort as a “super” vaccination site last week. Because of the closure, Tuesday appointments will be rescheduled.

In Los Angeles County, Fire Chief Daryl L. Osby announced additional staffing throughout the county.

Additionally, the Los Angeles County Office of Emergency Management “will be on high alert” to respond to conditions, said Kevin McGowan, director of the office. Residents should also be ready to evacuate “at a moment’s notice, especially if you live in canyon, mountain or foothill communities,” he said.

The Santa Ana winds are particularly cold this time around. The Los Angeles County Health Officer extended a cold weather alert for some places in L.A. County including Lancaster and in the mountains, where temperatures are expected to drop below 32 degrees.

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The National Weather Service is also urging boaters to be cautious as well, particularly around Catalina Island, where winds are contributing to large swells. The weather service also warned of high surf and dangerous rip currents through Tuesday evening along the coast.


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