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Wild Santa Ana Winds Whip the Southland [Video]

High temperatures around the region in the 40s, 50s and 60s make it feel like spring.

Strong Santa Ana winds blew across the Southland Thursday along with a sharp rise in temperature.

"A tight offshore pressure gradient will keep strong and potentially damaging Santa Ana winds across Ventura and Los Angeles counties through mid- afternoon," according to a National Weather Service (NWS) advisory. "Be alert for flying debris. If on the road, keep eyes open for fallen trees and downed power lines. Secure all doors and windows and stay indoors if possible."

Overnight, the wind gusted at 62 miles per hour in Chilao and 61 mph at Camp Nine -- both in the San Gabriel Mountains -- and in the 40-mph range in the Santa Clarita Valley, according to the NWS.

Both forecasters and law enforcement warned motorists to beware of high winds, especially while driving high-profile vehicles.

Shortly before 5 a.m., the California Highway Patrol issued advisories urging motorists to beware of high winds on the Golden State Freeway between the Ronald Reagan Freeway and state Route 138 and on the Antelope Valley Freeway between the Golden State Freeway and Red Rover Mine Road.

A high wind warning indicating northeast winds blowing at more than 40 miles per hour and gusting at more than 60 mph was in force in the San Gabriels in Los Angeles and Ventura counties until 3 p.m.

A less serious wind advisory was in effect until 3 p.m. along the coast, in downtown and the rest of metropolitan L.A., the Hollywood Hills, the Santa Monica Mountains Recreational Area, and the San Fernando and Santa Clarita valleys.

Winds of between 15 and 25 mph with 40-mph gusts between Malibu and the Hollywood Hills persisted into the afternoon Thursday, NWS forecasters said.

In the Santa Monica Mountains and the Santa Clarita Valley, they expect winds of 25 to 35 mph through this afternoon gusting to between 50 and 55 mph and, perhaps even 60 mph, while in the San Fernando Valley the forecast is for winds of between 20 and 35 mph with gusts of between 40 and 45 mph and even the odd 60-mph gust in the foothills.

In Orange County, northeast-to-east winds are expected to blow at 15 to 25 mph over mountain ridge tops, through and below passes and canyons, along coastal slopes and near coastal foothills, gusting to 50 mph, with isolated gusts of 60-65 mph, NWS forecasters said. A wind advisory will be in effect until 10 Thursday night.

Following several days of unseasonably chilly weather, with highs around the region in the 40s, 50s and 60s, Thursday feels like spring. The NWS forecast highs of 61 in Palmdale, Lancaster and on Mount Wilson; 69 in Avalon and Saugus; 70 in Newport Beach and at LAX; 73 in Anaheim; 74 in Long Beach, Burbank, Woodland Hills and downtown L.A.; and 75 in Pasadena and San Gabriel.

Temperatures will be a couple of degrees higher Friday through Monday, then retreat by two-or-so degrees starting Tuesday. No precipitation is in the forecast.

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