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Climate and Environment

The Santa Anas Are Back. Fortunately, They Are Less Ferocious Than Last Week

A toppled tree has roots pulled out of the ground.
Tree damaged in Pasadena in last weeks high wind event.
(Sharon McNary
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The Santa Ana winds are kicking up again, but not with the ferocity that we saw last week.

"Totally different setup," said Todd Hall, a senior meteorologist for the National Weather Service, comparing this latest event to the windstorm that slammed the San Gabriel Mountains foothill communities on Friday and Saturday.

"It's not nearly as strong as what we saw over the weekend in the San Gabriel Valley where we saw a lot of damage," he said, noting the SGV will likely see very little wind with this one and adding that it's a "totally different pattern that we're dealing with."

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The National Weather Service in Oxnard issued a wind advisory from 4 p.m. Tuesday (Jan. 25) until noon on Wednesday (Jan. 26) for Ventura County, the Santa Clarita and San Fernando valleys and the Los Angeles County mountains. Those areas should expect winds out of the northeast of 20 to 35 mph, along with gusts up to 50 mph, particularly in L.A. County.

In addition, the NWS San Diego office posted a wind advisory from 4 p.m. Tuesday to 10 a.m. Wednesday for inland Orange County and the valleys and mountains of San Bernardino and Riverside counties, where winds are forecast to blow from 15 to 25 mph, with gusts up to 50 mph.

The effects linger on, meanwhile, from last week's pummeling.

As of midday Tuesday, more than 6,000 Southern California Edison customers are without electricity throughout the utility's service area, according to its website. And the L.A. Department of Water and Power website shows scattered small outages throughout the city and a cluster of over 2,300 customers without power in Mar Vista.

Forecasters say there's a potentially stronger Santa Ana wind event Thursday night and Friday.

One silver lining, for now at least clear skies!

Safety tips from Southern California Edison
    • Watch for traffic signals that may be out. Approach those intersections as four-way stops.
    • Make sure you have a battery-operated radio and flashlights. Check the batteries to make sure they are fresh. Use flashlights for lighting during a power outage; do not use candles because they may pose a significant fire hazard.
    • If you’re in a vehicle with a fallen power line on it, stay in the vehicle and remain calm until help arrives. It is OK to use your cellphone to call 911. If you must leave the vehicle, remember to exit away from downed power lines and exit by jumping from the vehicle and landing with both feet together. You must not touch the vehicle and the ground at the same time. Then proceed away from the vehicle by shuffling and not picking up your feet until you are several yards away. 
    • Water and electricity don’t mix. Water is an excellent conductor of electricity. Do not step in or enter any water that a downed power line may be touching.
    • Do not use any equipment inside that is designed for outdoor heating or cooking. Such equipment can emit carbon monoxide and other toxic gases.
    • If you use a generator, place it outdoors and plug individual appliances directly into it, using a heavy-duty extension cord. Connecting generators directly to household circuits creates “backfeed,” which is dangerous to repair crews.
    • Leave the doors of your refrigerator and freezer closed to keep food as fresh as possible. Place blocks of ice inside to help keep food cold. Check food carefully for signs of spoilage. 
    • Check on your neighbors to make sure everyone is safe.
What questions do you have about Southern California?

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