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'Palmdale Mountain Wave' Causes Hurricane-Strength Winds

PALMDALE (CBSLA) — Cold, gusty winds raking the Antelope Valley early Monday were actually a rare weather event meteorologists called "The Palmdale Mountain Wave."

The weather phenomenon caused sustained winds of more than 50 miles per hour, along with gusts of more than 70 mph, according to the National Weather Service. The winds started at about 8 p.m. Sunday and were still blowing after 3 a.m., well over the "few hours" it usually lasts, meteorologist Curt Kaplan said.

The Palmdale Mountain Wave is caused when southwesterly air flowing over the San Gabriel Mountains is met by "an inversion on top that pushes the air down," Kaplan said. The result was sustained winds and higher guests in Lake Palmdale, Lancaster, Palmdale, Poppy Park, Grass Mountain and Valvermo.

The event usually occurs before a storm front, as was the case Monday. Gusts of 78 mph were reported in Lake Palmdale, while a gusts of 58 mph were recorded in Valyermo. Hurricane-strength winds start at 74 mph, but must be sustained for at least a minute.

The windy conditions blew down five trees in Palmdale, and set off a number of alarms set off by doors and windows rattling, Los Angeles County sheriff's Sgt. Philip Anderson said.

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