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Ventura County Focus

Winds Return as Residents Finish Cleanup

December 18, 1996|NICK GREEN

Hang on to those Christmas carol sheets--and fellow carolers.

No sooner had residents and workers finished cleaning up fallen palm fronds and tumbling tumbleweeds Tuesday from the weekend's violent windstorms, than the Santa Ana blasts returned, albeit more moderate versions.

By 4 p.m. the National Weather Service had recorded sustained off-shore winds of 24 mph in Oxnard and 53 mph gusts about 1,700 feet up Laguna Peak near Point Mugu.

Aside from a downed power pole north of Somis that caused a 20- to 30-foot spot fire, authorities reported little damage around the county.

Still, the readings were enough to justify the high-wind warning that remains in effect through noon today for parts of Ventura County south of the Santa Clara Valley and the wind advisory that is in force everywhere else.

A high-wind warning translates into sustained winds greater than 55 mph and gusts greater than 75 mph in the mountains; the valleys and coastal regions should brace for winds of more than 40 mph and gusts greater than 58 mph.

An advisory means winds of more than 45 mph and gusts greater than 55 mph in the mountains, with valleys and coastal areas experiencing winds exceeding 30 mph and gusts exceeding 35 mph.

A reduction in the winds today means temperatures could be two to four degrees cooler tonight, but still nowhere near the freezing temperatures forecast for parts of Santa Barbara County for Tuesday night.

Though the wind warning is likely to be dropped today, conditions may be breezy enough to justify a continuation of the wind advisory, said Mallory Ham, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Oxnard.

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