Winds from Santa Ana are blowing into the region on Wednesday evening with gusts of 120 km/h in the mountains

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A strong set of Santa Ana winds are expected to blow into Ventura and Los Angeles counties Wednesday night, with gusts of up to 75 miles per hour into the mountains, the National Weather Service said.

The wind is expected to increase in strength tonight and peak on Thursday.

“During tomorrow’s peak, we generally expect wind gusts between 40 and 60 miles per hour over the coastal valleys,” National Weather Service meteorologist Ryan Kittell said Wednesday.

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Gusts of 60 to 75 mph can be expected in the mountains.

The wind increases the risk of power outages and fallen trees, especially for weakly rooted trees in soil still damp from the deluge of storms earlier this month.

Santa Anas aren’t uncommon this time of year, Kittell noted, but the current system could be boosted by a high-pressure system that parked itself offshore.

“We don’t necessarily have to get that high pressure area off the coast [Santa Anas],” he said. “That probably plays a role. But that’s not the only thing that plays.”

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The high-pressure system is pushing low-pressure systems with rain and cooler temperatures northward, leaving much of California and the West Coast dry and warmer than normal for the next few days.

The event, dubbed an “omega block,” has led to warmer temperatures in the Bay Area, with San Francisco seeing a high of 66 degrees on Wednesday after several days of barely 60 degrees.

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“Looks like the wind will die down pretty quickly on Thursday night,” Kittell said, adding that Friday and Saturday “would be pretty dull as far as weather goes.”

But things could get interesting on Sunday, when another storm system is expected to move into Southern California, possibly bringing another downpour.

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