- Associated Press - Monday, December 22, 2014

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Santa Ana winds were headed toward Southern California on Monday, bringing the possibility of 55 mph gusts and summer-like temperatures just two days before Christmas, forecasters said.

The winds appeared to be right behind a phenomenon known as a standing mountain wave that brought gusts into the region early Monday, toppling trees and temporarily knocking out power to more than 1,000 homes and businesses in Los Angeles.

“We’re going into a Santa Ana event, and those start with north winds the day before,” National Weather Service meteorologist Bill Forwood said.

Some mountain ridgetop sensors reported gusts as high as 90 mph after the northern winds first struck late Sunday.

The Santa Ana winds were expected to arrive late Monday and last into Tuesday morning, with gusts as high as 55 mph in mountain passes and parts of the San Fernando and Santa Clarita valleys.

The Santa Ana winds were expected to push temperatures well above the average high of 68 degrees for this time of year. The temperature was expected to hit 80 degrees Tuesday in downtown Los Angeles.

A cooling trend could begin Wednesday as the winds dissipate, Forwood said. Dry weather was expected to continue through the holiday weekend.

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