Strong winds hit California; blowing dust impacts Kern County

LOS ANGELES (AP) Strong winds raked parts of Southern California on Monday as part of a vigorous weather system that swept through the state and caused high surf in coastal areas.

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High winds and blowing dust created low visibility in Kern County's desert, prompting the California Highway Patrol to close a section of Highway 14 in Rosamond, as well as the Highway 58 exit to Mojave.

Raw video: High winds blast Mojave area

The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District warned of "unhealthy concentrations of particulate matter" from blowing dust.

The gusty northwest-to-north winds were expected to bring gusts up to 80 mph in the mountains, while the coastline could get gusts up to 60 mph. Gusts were reported at more than 40 mph at Los Angeles International Airport, but there haven't been any reports of delays.

The strongest gusts were expected late Monday and fueled by a cold front that could bring some rain and snow showers to the mountains.

"It's just a cold, really strong upper low," said Carol Smith, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

Seven to 9-foot surf was expected in Los Angeles and Ventura counties, and an advisory was in effect until Tuesday. Strong rip currents also were likely, the agency said.

Gale warnings and small craft advisories are in effect offshore.

Temperatures will remain cooler through Tuesday before they are expected to reach the low 80s on Wednesday.


KBAK/KBFX Eyewitness News contributed to this report.