Powerful Santa Ana Winds Lash Southern California

Powerful Santa Ana Winds Lash Southern California
Strong Santa Ana winds lash Sun Valley, Calif., on Nov. 16, 2022, in a still from video. (CNN/Screenshot via NTD)

Powerful Santa Ana winds lashed Southern California on Wednesday, toppling big rigs on highways and spreading a small fire that destroyed two structures.

High wind warnings stretched across a wide swath of the region, and red flag warnings for high fire danger were posted in Los Angeles and Ventura counties.

The state Office of Emergency Services positioned extra firefighters, fire engines and other equipment in three counties ahead of the wind event.

The National Weather Service reported a predawn gust hitting 102 mph in mountains about 25 miles north of downtown Los Angeles.

Local media reported big rigs blown over on highways north and east of Los Angeles.

Created by high pressure over the Great Basin, the fierce gusts of the witheringly dry Santa Anas are feared for their ability to whip sparks into disastrous firestorms. Gusts are usually strongest in passes and canyons and along foothills of mountain ranges.