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Strong winds likely to return in Southern California

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Banning Pass, Tehachapi pass, inland desert areas to be affected.

After last week's punishing winds reaching speeds in excess of 80-90 mph in many areas, it appears more may be on the way.

Fierce Santa Ana winds, resulting from intense atmospheric pressure differences drove a fire dangerously close to populated areas near Rancho Cucamonga on Wednesday, forcing evacuations.

Winds have since subsided, but latest forecast models suggest more may be on the way—but this time likely affecting a different but neighboring Southland locale. While last week's holocaust was a true Santa Ana (dry, offshore) wind event, what appears to be in the making early next week is more in keeping with what typically occurs in spring across southern California and the West.

Forecast models continue to be consistent in predicting a deep upper trough—more like what occurs in winter months—positioning itself over southern Nevada by next Tuesday. Strong southwesterly winds aloft in conjunction with a developing surface low over Nevada on Monday will once again tighten surface pressure gradients, this time in such a way as to bring strong westerly winds to many areas, particularly through and below west to east oriented passes and canyons, specifically the Banning Pass area, Palm Springs-Coachella Valley areas, as well as the western Mojave desert, including the town of Mojave and nearby communities within the Antelope Valley

Winds funneling through Banning and Tehachapi passes particularly in spring can attain damaging velocities, and interfere with travel on Interstate 10, state route 58 and adjacent routes.

Once again, wind advisories, a high wind watch or warning, as well as red flag fire warnings may be posted for these areas beginning on Monday. May 5. Other areas may be windy as well, widespread gusts in the 25 to 35 mph range are possible, but in the windiest locations such as mentioned above, gusts may reach 60 mph or higher, beginning late Monday, continuing through about Wednesday morning.

In Los Angeles, a deepening marine layer will accompany this weather pattern, along with cooler daytime temperatures and breezy conditions. All mountain and desert areas are likely to be at least moderately windy.

The winds should begin to diminish late Wednesday as pressure gradients begin to weaken.

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