Photo via Przykuta (Own work) [CC BY-SA 2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons
Photo via Przykuta (Own work) [CC BY-SA 2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons
Powerful winds battered much of the Southland Monday, toppling trees, knocking out power to thousands of utility customers and even damaging a radio tower that forced the closure of a stretch of Hollywood Boulevard.

The low-pressure system that brought us the chilly temperatures and gusting winds slowly moved east as the day wore on, according to the National Weather Service. As it moves, the northwest to north winds will shift to northeast winds by Tuesday.

High pressure will also start building, helping to diminish winds by Tuesday afternoon, with a notable warming trend expected in the area through the end of the week.

“Most areas should see a significant warmup from Monday as the cold air continues to exit the area and northeast winds generate compressional heating at lower elevations,” according to the NWS.

Forecasters noted that the warming weather, along with the wind and relatively dry conditions, will also increase the risk of wildfires.

In the meantime, however, chilly temperatures will remain tonight, and the winds will make it feel even colder. The gusting winds left many streets littered with debris and dry palm fronds Monday. Forecasters noted that a peak wind gust of 92 mph was recorded at Whitaker Peak in the Los Angeles County mountains.

“The strongest winds will remain in the mountains, where damaging wind gusts of 60 to 70 mph will continue,” according to the NWS. “In addition, gusty north to northeast winds will impact portions of the Los Angeles County coast and valleys tonight, as well as the Santa Barbara South Coast, where gusts of 40 to 50 mph will be likely in wind-prone locations.

“The gusty winds will continue to bring the threat for downed trees and branches tonight, especially since many trees have become weakened and diseased due to the long-term drought.”

A high wind warning indicating an expectation of gusts of at least 58 mph will be in effect until 2 p.m. Tuesday in the Los Angeles County mountains. A less-serious wind advisory will be in effect until 2 p.m. in the San Fernando, Santa Clarita and San Gabriel valleys, coastal areas and Santa Monica Mountains Recreational Area.

Monday’s winds resulted in power outages that at one point affected as many as 24,000 customers of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and Southern California Edison. A stretch of Hollywood Boulevard had to be closed when the wind damaged a metal radio tower, leaving a portion of the structure dangling over the street.

—City News Service

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