Light Rain Falling, Potentially Damaging High Winds Expected Later

Light rain was falling Saturday afternoon, on a day when clouds heaped over Southern California and precipitation wasn't as much a worry as wind for forecasters.

Winds have battered parts of the Southland this week, and they were expected to continue Saturday with gusts of up to 60 miles per hours in parts, according to the National Weather Service.

Wind warnings were in effect for the high desert and mountains, while wind advisories were in place along the coast.

"Driving through the Grape Vine today -- a little bit gusty for today, through tomorrow," said NBC4 meteorologist Shanna Mendiola.

The National Weather Service reported heavy drizzle in Oxnard, where its Los Angeles area office is located, and said showers were passing through Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. Less than 0.2 inches of rain accumulated in Santa Barbara County as of 1:30 p.m.

The clouds looming over SoCal were expected to break somewhat in the late afternoon, right when the wind was expected to pick up and rain may fall in parts of the Inland Empire and mountains, Mendiola said.

Potentially damaging winds were expected to continue Saturday through Sunday morning, the NWS said in a series of advisories that will remain in effect through the end of Saturday. NWS forecasters urged area residents to secure outdoor furniture.

Cooler temperatures and at least a 20 percent chance or rain are welso on tap Saturday for the Los Angeles area.

The heaviest winds are expected in Ventura County, the Antelope Valley and the mountainous areas of Los Angeles County and the Interstate 5 corridor.

"With the strongest winds, expect areas of blowing dust and sand causing visibility to lower to near zero at times across Highway 14 and portions of Highway 138 south of Rosamond...," the advisory stated, singling out the Antelope Valley Freeway and Pearblossom Highway.

The Antelope Valley was especially hard-hit on Friday with southwest-to-west winds of between 20 and 30 mph and gusts of 45 mph, which kicked up dust storms and reduced visibility to a half-mile in some areas

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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