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Tuesday, July 16, 2024 9:02 AM PDT

Santa Ana Winds rip across region late Sunday night and Monday morning

By Reginald Stanley. Posted January 23, 2023, 7:32 AM.

The National Weather Service has issued a High Wind Warning to all inland areas, foothills and mountains through 4 PM Monday afternoon amid an unusually powerful Santa Ana Wind episode currently ripping across the region.

Strong winds, often sustained between 30 and 40 mph, have been observed across nearly all inland areas beginning late Sunday night, with peak gusts ranging from the upper 30s well into the 50s and 60s in some locations. This has resulted in extensive blowing debris, tree damage, and downed power lines across large portions of inland Southern California overnight and Monday morning. The winds have also adversely affected travel conditions, particularly for high-profile vehicles. The strongest gusts have been observed in the Santa Ana Mountains and associated south-facing slopes and canyons, as well as the Morongo Pass along Interstate 10. Reports of gusts in the 60-70 mph range have been reported in the Santa Monica Mountains near Malibu. The Department of Highways reported Monday morning that a large tree was downed across the Ortega Highway (California State Route 74) near South Main Divide Road in the Santa Ana Mountains near El Cariso, blocking the entire highway there.

Across the WeatherCurrents network, the highest gust recorded as of 7 AM Monday was 42mph in Riverside (Orangecrest). A gust of 41mph was recorded in central Murrieta by Reginald Stanley at 11:34 PM Sunday night. Simi Valley experienced the winds earlier on Sunday with a peak gust of 39mph. WeatherCurrents stations in Anza, Lake Elsinore and northwest Murrieta also recorded similarly high peak wind gusts thus far. WeatherCurrents stations in Temecula, French Valley, East Hemet and San Jacinto were the least affected by the wind event, with temperatures notably sinking much colder there overnight due to wind sheltering effects. The brunt of the current Santa Ana Wind episode is forecast to last through Monday afternoon before subsiding. Temperatures are expected to remain cool through this period.

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