Strong winds swept the mountains of Southern California today while heavy surf pounded the coast, creating perilous conditions for swimmers and surfers.
The National Weather Service this morning reported overnight gusts of 39 miles per hour at Whitaker Peak and 37 mph at Camp Nine -- both in the L.A. County portion of the San Gabriel Mountains -- while in the Santa Monica range, 42-mph gusts were recorded in the Malibu Hills.
NWS forecasters said northeast winds in the 20-30-mph range gusting at 45 mph would persist through noon in the mountains, abate, then return late tonight.
A wind advisory, issued by the NWS when winds of 35 mph or greater are expected, was scheduled to remain in force in both the San Gabriels and the Santa Monicas until noon. The wind could make driving through mountain regions difficult for motorists, especially those in high-profile vehicles, according to forecasters.
"Gusty winds and dry conditions will elevate fire weather concerns," according to an NWS advisory.
The coastline, meanwhile, was being pounded as a result of a large swell created by a big storm that formed in the eastern Pacific, according to the NWS.
West-facing beaches of Los Angeles County will be hit today by breakers of seven to nine feet, with maximum sets of 11 feet.
"The high surf will cause a high risk of rip currents," according to an NWS advisory, and forecasters said there could be minor tidal overflows.
A high surf advisory will be in effect until 2 p.m. Friday in both L.A. and Orange counties. Additionally, a small craft advisory will go into effect in the outer waters off the Orange County coastline at 4 p.m. today and in the inner waters at 10 p.m.
The NWS forecast highs today, amid sunny skies, of 54 on Mount Wilson; 64 in Palmdale and Lancaster; 67 in Avalon; 68 in Newport Beach and Saugus; 69 in Woodland Hills; 70 in Burbank; 71 at LAX; 72 in Pasadena and San Gabriel; 73 in Downtown L-A and Long Beach; and 74 in Long Beach.
Temperatures were forecast to rise Friday -- by around five degrees in some places -- before something of a cooling trend gets under way on Saturday.