High winds whipped across the Antelope Valley for a second straight day Tuesday and more strong gusts are expected as a storm packing rain and cold takes aim at Southern California.
After a lull Wednesday morning, southwest winds of between 20 and 30 miles per hour will blow across the area, generating 45-mph gusts, according to a National Weather Service statement. Even 55-mph gusts are possible in the foothills, according to the NWS, which said the strongest winds will arrive Wednesday afternoon and evening.
A wind advisory issued Tuesday for the Antelope Valley is scheduled to expire at 9 p.m.
Forecasters warned that the wind would create challenging conditions on the 14 Freeway and Highway 138, with blowing sand and dust severely restricting visibility and the drivers of high-profile vehicles having to cope with gusty crosswinds.
The next weather event to face the region will be rain.
"Most of the rain comes on Thursday and Friday, then we clear out for Mother's Day weekend," said NBC4 forecaster Crystal Egger.
Forecasters said an unseasonably cold storm system out of British Columbia is headed southward and expected in Southern California beginning Wednesday night , staying around through Friday. A slight chance of showers will develop late Wednesday night, lingering into Thursday morning. As the main low-pressure system draws closer, there will be an increased chance of showers from Thursday afternoon through Friday morning, they said. At the same time, there will also be a chance of thunderstorms capable of producing heavy downpours and hail.
"There is the possibility that the Los Angeles metro area could be impacted by showers and hail during the Thursday evening and Friday morning commute," according to an NWS statement.
Also possible as a result of the impending storm are isolated waterspouts across coastal waters, it said.
The storm could also cause the snow level to dip to unseasonably low levels, forecasters said. The snow level could fall to around 5,000 feet late Thursday and possibly lower. A few inches of snow is possible at resort levels as a result of the storm, which may be accompanied by winds of up to 50 mph in the mountains and Antelope Valley, they said.
Rainfall amounts will vary, according to the NWS. Up to a half-inch per hour may be possible with any thunderstorm.