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Strong, potentially damaging winds developing in California

Leslie Gonzalez / KPBS
Clouds are seen in Del Mar, Calif. Jan. 31, 2022.

High wind warnings were posted north of San Francisco Bay on Tuesday as a blustery and potentially damaging offshore flow developed in California.

Strong winds, with gusts from 40-50 mph (64-80 kph) were occurring at upper elevations in North Bay mountains and were predicted to spread to lower terrain later in the day and overnight, the National Weather Service said.

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The warnings will be in effect until Thursday morning and strongest gusts could range from 65 mph to 95 mph on the highest ridges and peaks, forecasters said.

“Watch out for falling tree limbs today and drive carefully!” the Bay Area weather office wrote.

Wind advisories were scheduled for elsewhere in the Bay Area, the Central Valley, a portion of the Sierra Nevada and large areas of Southern California.

The winds were being caused by a “robust pressure gradient” developing between an area of increasing surface pressures over the central Great Basin and an area of low pressure along the California coast, forecasters said.

“This will set the stage for a relatively strong offshore wind event which begins today and should persist into mid-week,” the weather service said. “Strong to locally damaging wind gusts and elevated fire weather concerns are the primary hazards.”