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Climate and Environment

Windy Weather Means Warnings And High Surf. We Have Some Safety Tips

A palm tree is shown blowing hard in strong wind. The tree is on the right side of the frame. Blue sky and several sparse white clouds are behind it.
A palm tree blows in the wind.
(Shutterstock)
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Brace yourself for some windy weather in Southern California over the next couple of days.

  • The National Weather Service expects gusts up to 50 mph in southwest Santa Barbara County and the Santa Ynez mountains Monday afternoon.
  • In the L.A. and Ventura mountains, northwest gusts could reach 60 to 70 mph overnight and early Tuesday morning.

The strongest winds are expected near the I-5 corridor in the Santa Clarita Valley.

A high wind warning is also in effect through early Tuesday morning for:

  • The San Bernardino and Riverside County mountains
  • The San Diego County mountains and desert
  • The high desert region and the Coachella Valley.
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Gusts could reach 65 to 80 mph in those areas.

Along with the strong winds comes the high likelihood of high surf.

On the L.A. and Santa Barbara coasts, the surf is expected to reach three to six feet. On the Ventura and Central coasts, surf could get up to between four and seven feet.

Here are some things to keep in mind when high wind warnings are in place:

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?