The Washington Post

Wind storm diminishing in West, but strong gusts linger in Southern California

Roger Farraj, co-owner of Colorado Shell gas station on the corner of Colorado Boulevard and San Gabriel Boulevard in Pasadena, Calif., surveys the damage on Thursday morning after a Santa Ana wind storm blew many trees down overnight. (Al Seib/AP)

“The combination of strong offshore flow and good upper-level wind support should produce damaging wind gusts to up to 65 mph through the mountains of Ventura and Los Angeles Counties including the Santa Monica Mountains, and for the Santa Clarita Valley,” wrote the National Weather Service (NWS) office in Los Angeles.

These winds won’t be quite as powerful as Thursday’s Santa Ana blast, which one NWS official told the NY Times was unlike anything experienced in Southern California “in more than 10 years.”

Francis Blackman looks at the damage done after a tree fell onto the house at 1690 San Pasqual Avenue in Pasadena where his wife is the caretaker of the bedridden homeowner Thursday, Dec. 1, 2011. Broken trees and downed power lines were the order of the day after a major wind storm blew across the San Gabriel Valley. ( (Mark Boster/AP)

All around the cities northeast of Los Angeles, hundreds of power lines tumbled over, and many residents were without water for hours. Los Angeles County declared a state of emergency, where officials urged residents to stay off the roads, for fear of being crushed by branches and debris.

YouTube Video: Tree Damage around Pasadena

The wind storm toppled many trees, especially around Pasadena, where well over 100 were reported down (according to via Twitter).

Video showing some of the damage around Southern California from the Associated Press

The LA Times reported more than 200,000 residents remained without power Friday morning and some schools were closed in the wake of the storm.

Farther east, the winds were also fading in Utah’s northern Wasatch front where winds were clocked as high as 102 mph Thursday. The fierce gusts overturned 16 trucks and knocked out power to 50,000 homes and businesses according to the Salt Lake City Tribune.

YouTube video upload by the Salt Lake City Tribune. Description: In this video, greenhouse coverings are torn off a business near Highway 89 and Fruit Heights, Utah. Gusts were recorded in excess of 100 mph and damage was extensive.

Interesting link: Downslope Windstorm Anatomy

Violent winds also extended into Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico and western Colorado.

* In Albuquerque, the TV affiliate KRQE wrote: The Duke City turned into a ghost town Thursday evening after non-stop wind gusts left extensive damage through the metro area.

In Steamboat Springs, Colorado, a wind gust reached 123 mph. The Denver Fox Affiliate, KWGN, reported:

Police estimate that about 100 trees in town were knocked down, with some falling on homes, damaging roofs, chimneys and siding.

The entire roof of a four-story condominium complex was blown off Thursday.

YouTube video of winds in Steamboat Springs

Cory Mottice, EverythingWX blogger, aggregated the following peak gusts recorded in California, Utah and Nevada:

Highest Gusts in California:

A worker looks at a crushed car with the stump of the tree that fell on it and a broken light pole in the background in Ogden, Utah after the wind storm. (Robert Johnson/AP)

* Ridges
150 mph – Mammoth Mountain
106 mph – Grey Butte
106 mph – Five Mile

Highest Gusts in Utah:

* Passes/Valleys
102 mph - 2 MI NW Centerville
92 mph – West Bountiful
88 mph – Farmington

* Ridges
89 mph – Badger Spring
83 mph – Ogden Peak

Highest Gusts in Nevada:

98 mph - Kane Springs
88 mph - Yucca Mountain
77 mph – Area 27

Jason is the Washington Post’s weather editor and Capital Weather Gang's chief meteorologist. He earned a master's degree in atmospheric science, and spent 10 years as a climate change science analyst for the U.S. government. He holds the Digital Seal of Approval from the National Weather Association.


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