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Hurricane-force winds due out west; warnings issued

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A southbound fast-moving cold front will bring mostly scattered rain and snow showers across several western states today, and extremely strong to potentially damaging winds.

High wind warnings for southwest to northwest winds are in effect for parts of Idaho, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming today, where winds are forecast to gust as high as 75 mph.

Elsewhere, wind advisories as well as winter weather advisories, winter storm warnings, and a red flag warning all will be in effect today as strong, cold blustery winds with scattered rain and snow spread across the west. Fire danger will be high in parts of Arizona and New Mexico due to dry conditions aggravated by expected winds.

The most dangerous winds will be limited to mostly northern Utah and Nevada, while strong winds will spread throughout most areas west of the continental divide.

Rain and snow will be limited mostly to the central and northern Rocky Mt. States during the next 48 hours.

An 998 millibar low over Montana is forecast to intensify and progress south and eastward, with centers of 990 and 992 millibars due over Kansas and Nebraska respectively by later this evening. This, in conjunction with strong high pressure of 1036 millibars off the west coast will generate strong surface pressure gradients, while in the upper levels, winds of 80 to 120 knots at about 30,000 ft. will be present above the western states during the next 24 to 36 hours.

Winds should gradually diminish during the day on Tuesday.

The southern boundary of these winds will encompass southern California, where wind advisories will be in effect beginning later today for mountain and desert areas. 30 to 40 mph winds can be expected in these regions, with possible gusts as high as 65 mph in favored west to east oriented mountain passes and canyons.

Only light to moderately breezy conditions are forecast for greater Los Angeles.

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