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Southland wind warning begins this afternoon

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(CNS) – High winds will buffet the Southland from this afternoon through early Wednesday, creating perilous conditions in the San Gabriel Mountains, the Antelope Valley, ocean waters and along the coast, where minor flooding is possible.

In the meantime, commuters could be in for a damp ride to work in some areas of the region this morning, when patchy drizzle is expected on what otherwise is forecast to be a partly cloudy day.

A dry frontal system will move across southwestern California today, and behind the front a sharp surface gradient will develop, churning up “strong to potentially damaging winds” in some areas starting late tonight, according to a National Weather Service advisory.

A high wind watch indicating the possibility of sustained 40-mile-per hour winds or gusts of 58 mph or greater will be in effect in the Los Angeles County portions of the San Gabriel Mountains from tonight through late Tuesday night.

NWS forecasters said winds of between 30 and 40 mph gusting up to 60 mph will develop in the Interstate 5 corridor in the vicinity of The Grapevine tonight, lasting through late Tuesday.

“Winds this strong may knock down trees and power lines. The strong winds will affect travel on Interstate 5,” according to an NWS advisory.

In the Antelope Valley, southwest winds of between 25 and 35 gusting to 45 mph will develop this afternoon, then turn into west-to-northwest winds gusting at 50 mph through Tuesday night, according to an NWS advisory. Isolated 60-mph gusts are possible in the western part of he Antelope Valley Tuesday, it said.

“The gusty winds will create areas of blowing dust and sand, which will locally reduce visibility to one quarter-mile or less,” it said.

A wind advisory indicating that winds of 35 mph or greater are expected will be in effect in the Antelope Valley from 3 p.m. today until 9 p.m. Tuesday.

Off the coast, a gale watch — indicating a risk of winds of between 34 and 45 knots per hour — will be in force from this evening through late Tuesday night. The strongest winds will occur northwest of San Nicolas Island, NWS forecasters said.

Combined seas will build to between eight and 13 feet through at least Tuesday night, they said, urging the operators of small craft to stay out of the water.

The NWS also warned in an advisory that “minor tidal overflows are possible through early Tuesday morning due to an extraordinarily high astronomically high tides and a southerly swell near four feet.” As a result, “local street flooding may occur in low-lying areas near the shoreline,” especially near south-facing shores, it said.

Also threatening the region is a high risk of rip currents, which will last through Saturday, according to the NWS.

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