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Rain enters Los Angeles County; potentially damaging winds expected

December 29, 2010 |  2:48 am


A fast-moving Arctic storm swung into Los Angeles County early Wednesday and was expected to bring powerful gusts later in the day.

Doppler radar showed precipitation moving  eastward from Ventura County before 2:30 a.m. The system is expected to drop half an inch of rain on the coast and about 1 inch in the mountains. Rainfall is expected to continue through the afternoon.

The National Weather Service warned that the chilly storm, which originated in the Gulf of Alaska, could bring dangerously powerful winds to the region. Gusts of up to 75 mph might blow through the Grapevine, the portion of the Golden State Freeway that winds through the northwestern edge of Los Angeles County.

Gusts of up to 40 to 50 mph are expected elsewhere in the Southland.

"This event has the potential to be one of the most widespread and strongest wind episodes in recent years. With the ground rain-soaked by recent storms, there will likely be widespread downed trees across the region. In addition, there will also be the potential for downed power lines and power outages," the weather service said.


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Photo credit: National Weather Service