- Associated Press - Friday, December 2, 2016

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Cold Santa Ana winds swept across Southern California on Friday, raising danger of wildfires and toppling trees onto cars, at least one home and onto a busy freeway just ahead of rush hour.

Red flag warnings went into effect at noon and were expected to remain posted until Saturday evening because of the combination of high wind and extremely low relative humidity levels.

A brush fire erupted along State Route 14 in the Newhall Pass area north of Los Angeles. More than 100 firefighters aided by water-dropping aircraft were working to keep it from growing beyond three acres, said Los Angeles County fire Inspector Randall Wright.

A late-morning gust in that area hit 54 mph, the National Weather Service said. Other gusts recorded by midday were a 75 mph blast at Chilao in the San Gabriel Mountains, 64 mph in the Malibu Hills and 55 mph on Saddle Peak in the Santa Monica Mountains.

Trees toppled throughout the region, including one that fell onto a home in La Canada Flintridge in the foothills northeast of Los Angeles. There were no reports of injuries.

One tree fell onto the bustling 101 Freeway in Studio City just before rush hour, damaging at least one car, closing all but one lane, and creating a traffic nightmare.

Santa Anas blow from the northeast and offshore, the opposite of the normal flow from Pacific onto shore.

The weather service warned that Avalon Harbor on Santa Catalina Island south of Los Angeles could be affected by choppy seas that could make it difficult for boats there.

Unlike most Santa Ana winds, this one was expected to strengthen through the afternoon, diminish in the evening, and then strengthen again overnight and into Saturday, the NWS said.

In the Sierra Nevada, warnings were posted from Yosemite southward for sustained winds of at least 40 mph and gusts to 70 mph. Forecasters warned that many trees could be toppled.

Elsewhere, freeze watches were to go into effect late Friday for much of the San Joaquin Valley and the interior of San Luis Obispo County.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times is switching its third-party commenting system from Disqus to Spot.IM. You will need to either create an account with Spot.im or if you wish to use your Disqus account look under the Conversation for the link "Have a Disqus Account?". Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide