Santa Ana winds whip into Southern California, downing trees and knocking out power

A cold storm from the Great Basin made its way into Southern California early Thursday, bringing strong Santa Ana winds that quickly exceeded 70 to 80 mph in some areas — toppling trees, knocking out power and creating traffic disruptions across the region.

Winds in several in the San Gabriel Mountains and foothills, as well as in the San Bernardino County mountains, hit at least 80 mph Thursday: Magic Mountain Truck Trail near Santa Clarita recorded an 86 mph gust, near the end of Haven Avenue north of Rancho Cucamonga reached 82 mph and Arrowhead Springs saw an 87 mph gust, according to the National Weather Service.

North of the 118 Freeway in the northern San Fernando Valley, wind speeds hit 78 mph in Browns Canyon Thursday. East of the Cajon Pass near the Cloudland Truck Trail they hit 77 mph, and in Altadena, winds peaked at 69 mph, according to the National Weather Service.

South of Yosemite National Park, near North Fork, a wind gust hit 95 mph early Thursday, officials said.

Alex Tardy, a National Weather Service meteorologist in San Diego, said winds were expected to slow down Thursday afternoon and evening, though high wind warnings would remain in place across Los Angeles, Ventura, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties through late Thursday. Across the Sierra Nevada and in Kern County, the high wind warning would be in effect through Friday morning. Officials across the region warned of winds from 25 to 65 mph, with gusts up to 75 mph.

"Winds this strong may down trees and power lines, causing property damage or power outages," the warnings said. "Crosswinds can make driving difficult, especially for drivers of high-profile vehicles and vehicles towing trailers."

By early morning, those warnings were playing out across the Southland.

The Sierra Madre Police Department responded early Thursday to multiple downed trees and power lines, the agency reported, and in Burbank, police responded to a large tree that fell on a home, though no one was injured. In Pasadena, the fire department was working to move two large trees blocking neighborhood roads.

In Fontana, KCAL News reported that winds knocked over a semi truck on the 210 Freeway. Due to high winds, the L.A. Zoo closed Thursday.

As of 11 a.m., Southern California Edison was responding to more than 100 outages, primarily across Orange, Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties, affecting more than 16,000 customers, according to the utility's outage map.

Read more: Santa Ana winds will whip across California, with power outages and downed trees likely

The weather service warned that some of the strongest gusts — reaching up to 90 mph — were expected below and along the Cajon Pass slopes and in the coastal foothills of the Santa Ana Mountains in Orange County.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District also issued a windblown dust advisory for Riverside and San Bernardino counties, particularly in the Coachella and east San Bernardino valleys.

In San Diego County valleys, the windy afternoon became mixed with some showers and isolated thunderstorms, with the chance for small hail, as a second cold storm moved in and dropped south.

Sign up for Essential California for news, features and recommendations from the L.A. Times and beyond in your inbox six days a week.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.