Photo via Pixabay.
Photo via Pixabay.

Updated at 3:40 p.m., April 25, 2015

Winds approaching hurricane force were expected in the Antelope Valley and mountains north of Los Angeles Saturday, with gusts of up to 70 miles per hour possible.

A strong, but not-very-wet cold front swept across Southern California, according to the National Weather Service.

By early Saturday afternoon, gusts of 57 miles per hour had been clocked at Lake Palmdale, next to the Antelope Valley (14) Freeway where it enters the Antelope Valley. Other peak gusts included 40 mph at Fox Field near Lancaster, 37 mph at Catalina Island’s Airport In The Sky, and 35 mph at Los Angeles International Airport.

Showers had blown in, with most of the L.A. basin getting about .03 inches of precipitation. Roads were dampened across the area, and the largest rainfall by 3 p.m. was at Mt. Wilson, where .17 inch was observed.

Blowing sand, dust and unsafe road conditions were forecast for Interstate 5 between Los Angeles and Central California, and on the Antelope Valley (14) Freeway from Santa Clarita northeast into the High Desert. Winds were expected to approach 70 miles per hour there in the Saturday afternoon hours.

And the strong winds were predicted to spread into the San Fernando Valley, Hollywood Hills and Santa Monica Mountains near Malibu by Saturday, with peak gusts there at about 50 mph.

Winds had picked up and it was spitting rain at Zuma Beach at midday.

The Antelope Valley was especially hard-hit Friday with southwest-to- west winds of between 20 and 30 mph and gusts of 45 mph, which kicked up dust storms and reduced.

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

“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 NWS warned, singling out the 14 Freeway and Pearblossom Highway.

NWS forecasters urged motorists to drive with caution and be prepared for powerful crosswinds. They also encouraged area residents to secure outdoor furniture.

—City News Service

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