Winds still in forecast


City News Service

Strong, potentially damaging winds out of the north blew across San Diego County Thursday, especially in the mountains.

The change of weather stems from a strong upper level low pressure system that moved south into the area Wednesday night, according to the National Weather Service. The agency issued a high wind warning for the mountains until 2 p.m. Friday.

A less serious wind advisory is in effect in coastal, valley and deserts areas until 2 p.m. Friday.

“Winds will mainly be confined to the ridge tops and northeast portions of the mountains today, then turn ... and spread into the coastal slopes and foothills tonight,” the Weather Service advised.

In Los Angeles County, some 300,000 customers were without electricity in the Southland Thursday morning as powerful offshore winds, occasionally gusting to near

100 miles per hour, knocked down trees, utility poles and power lines and raised fears of wildfire.

The City of Pasadena provided a measure of how disruptive the winds turned out to be when it declared a local emergency this morning and urged both working adults and schoolchildren to stay home to avoid roads strewn with downed limbs and power lines. The Pasadena Unified School District said its schools would remain shuttered.

In San Diego County mountains, sustained winds of 20-40 mph with gusts up to 60 mph were expected. Elsewhere in the county, winds of 15-20 mph, with gusts up to 45 mph, were likely, according to the Weather Service.

“Wind gusts this strong are capable of downing trees and power lines, and blowing over unsecured outdoor objects,” the Weather Service advised. “These winds will also create hazardous conditions for high profile vehicles.”

Visibility will be reduced to less than 3 miles in areas with blowing dust, according to the agency.

The windy weather also prompted a gale warning for local boaters. A gale warning is in effect until 4 a.m. Friday for coastal waters off San Diego County.

Boaters should be prepared for rough seas due to short-period wind waves from the northeast and a longer period westerly swell, according to the Weather Service.

“Operating a vessel in gale conditions requires experience and properly equipped vessels. It is highly recommended that mariners without the proper experience seek safe harbor prior to the onset of gale conditions,” the Weather Service advised.