Gusty Winds, High Temps Expected Early Next Week

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LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Gusty winds today will buffet much of the Southland, where record-setting high temperatures are expected early next week, forecasters said.

The winds expected today and tonight result from a tightening northerly pressure gradient, according to a National Weather Service statement.

And early next week, ``strong high pressure and a weak to moderate Santa Ana wind event will produce record-setting hot temperatures across Southwest California,'' it said. The hottest days will be Monday and Tuesday, when highs near or above 100 degrees are expected in the Santa Monica mountains and in coastal and valley regions of L.A., Ventura and Santa Barbara counties.

In the Santa Monica Mountains, overnight temperatures are expected to be high early next week, dropping down only to the mid to upper 70s and lower 80s, the statement said.

In the meantime, a wind advisory will be in effect from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. today in the Antelope Valley, where winds of 25-35 miles per hour are expected, along with 55-mph gusts. Even stronger gusts are expected west of the Antelope Valley (14) Freeway, forecasters said. A wind advisory also will be in force from 10 this morning to 10 tonight in the Santa Clarita Valley.

``Gusty winds will make driving difficult, especially for high-profile vehicles,'' warned an NWS statement. ``Areas of blowing dust can suddenly and dangerously reduce visibility to near zero.''

In the San Gabriel Mountains in both L.A. and Ventura counties, a wind advisory will be in force until 3 a.m. Saturday. Until then, forecasters expect winds of between 20 and 35 mph gusting to 55 mph.

Then, in the new week, an excessive heat watch will be in effect from Monday morning through Tuesday evening along the L.A County coast, in beach cities, metropolitan Los Angeles including the Downtown area, the Hollywood Hills, the Santa Monica Mountains, and the San Fernando, Santa Clarita and San Gabriel valleys, as well as coastal and valley areas of Ventura County. Highs Tuesday could reach 106, forecasters said.

``The very high temperatures create a dangerous situation in which heat illnesses are possible,'' warned an NWS statement. ``Temperatures inside vehicles, even if the windows are partially open, can quickly rise to life- threatening levels. Never, ever leave people or pets in enclosed vehicles, even for a short period of time.''

The NWS forecast mostly cloudy skies in L.A. County today and highs of 59 degrees on Mount Wilson; 67 in Palmdale; 68 in Lancaster; 72 in Avalon; 73 at LAX and in Saugus; 74 in San Gabriel and Burbank; 75 in Long Beach; 76 in Pasadena; 77 in Downtown L.A. and Woodland Hills. It will be up to 9 degrees higher Saturday and up to another 10 degrees higher Sunday.

A combination of partly and mostly cloudy skies are forecast in Orange County today, along with highs of 69 in San Clemente; 70 in Laguna Beach; 71 in Mission Viejo; 73 in Newport Beach; 74 in Yorba Linda; 75 in Irvine; and 76 in Fullerton and Anaheim. Temperatures will rise up to 7 degrees Saturday and up to 12 degrees more Sunday.

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