Strong winds whipped through Southern California overnight, clearing the way for much drier and colder weather for the rest of the week.
Wind gusts overnight in the Sherman Oaks area reached 45 to 55 mph, according to meteorologist Ariel Cohen with the National Weather Service in Oxnard.
The strong gusts toppled a large tree in Sherman Oaks sometime overnight, according to news station KTLA. The tree narrowly avoided crashing onto several parked cars and a home in the 4700 block of Noble Avenue. The tree knocked over some power lines and disrupted service to hundreds of homes in the area, the news station reports. By Thursday morning, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s outage map reports that more than 1,000 customers were without power in the general area and a repair crew responded to the incident.
The forecast for the rest of the week will be “cold, dry and windy,” Cohen said. People should be “prepared for the potential for damaging winds” heading into the weekend, Cohen added.
There is a slight chance of scattered showers — resulting from the tail end of a storm moving across the Great Plains — reaching Los Angeles County by Saturday and snow levels are forecast to drop to around the 3,000-foot range by Sunday morning, the forecast said.
Wind advisories will be in place for most of the region, including the eastern and central mountains in Los Angeles County, the Santa Monica Mountains, Santa Clarita Valley and San Fernando Valley, along with eastern Ventura County. The advisory will extend to the Malibu area and the Santa Ynez mountains, the National Weather Service said.
The Sycamore Canyon station in the Ventura County mountains overnight recorded wind speeds of up to 88 mph, according to the National Weather Service. In the lower metro areas, wind gusts are expected to reach 10 to 20 mph, Cohen said.
This wind flow is forecast to linger through Friday evening, but will gradually relax Thursday night and some of the advisories will also expire around that time.
Further from Los Angeles, the Santa Barbara, the eastern Santa Ynez Range and the Ventura County mountains are expected to receive northwest to north winds with gusts of up to 60 mph, according to the forecast. The winds are expected to pick up in the afternoon and a high wind warning will be in effect for the region until after midnight.
Temperatures will reach the mid 60s for most of Los Angeles County, but will linger in the upper 40s and 50s in the Antelope Valley, according to the National Weather Service. Mountain communities can expect the mercury to drop to between 30 and 40 degrees. The lower temperatures are all below the average for most of the region.
Some lingering showers passed over the Ventura County mountains and northwestern Los Angeles County on Thursday morning, but have since tapered off, the National Weather Service said, while snow levels dropped to the 3,500-to-4,000 range, bringing about 1 to 2 inches of snow into the mountains.
The cold conditions and leftover snow on the ground opens the possibility for icy conditions on mountain roads, according to the National Weather Service.