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Gusty Santa Ana Winds Zap Southern California

UPDATED 1 PM PST, December 17, 2011

UPDATED By WeatherBug Meteorologist, Chad Merrill

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The second round of Santa Ana winds in a month`s time is whipping through southern California early this weekend. Fortunately, gusts won`t rival those from earlier this month or be as widespread.

WeatherBug Meteorologist Bryan Karrick has the latest the California storm and an upcoming winter storm in this exclusive WeatherBug Severe Weather Outlook Video.

A low pressure in northern Baja California coupled with a strong high pressure in the Northern Rockies is building a pressure difference that is being unleashed as howling northeast winds in southern California. The canyons and mountains of southern California will funnel the winds, producing gusts that could approach hurricane strength again today.

Motorists traveling along Interstates 5, 10, 15 and 215 can expect these cross winds to make driving difficult at times. In addition, residents should secure outdoor holiday decorations and prepare for power outages.

High Wind Warnings continue through the day in the mountains north and east of Los Angeles, where sustained northeast winds will buzz at 25 to 40 mph with gusts approaching 65 mph. Wind Advisories stretch along the southern California Coast, including Los Angeles.

The saving grace for producing widespread wildfires is the moist ground, cooler temperatures in the 50s and 60s and relative humidity that is not as critical will also keep the fire risk quite low.

Winds today have been slightly less impressive than Friday`s gusts. A reporting station in Los Angeles County hit a peak of 59 mph while a WeatherBug Tracking Station in San Bernardino, Calif., topped out at 58 mph. Meanwhile, another WeatherBug Tracking Station in Descanso, Calif., reached 51 mph.

Fortunately, this second Santa Ana wind event won`t be nearly as intense as the early December gusts that knocked out power to 350,000 in southern California, fueled fires that charred 400 acres, and toppled more than 10 semis on Interstate 15.

Follow the gusty winds in southern California with WeatherBug. Check for updates to the wind advisories and get the latest updates anywhere on Twitter.

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