windy.jpgStrong winds expected to blow across the Bay Area this weekend have prompted a wind advisory for much of the region that will be in effect until Monday morning, according to the National Weather Service.

Developing shortly after sunrise this morning, the strong northerly winds are expected to sweep across the East Bay Hills and Mount Diablo State Park, where the weather forecast is predicting gusts will reach speeds up to 60 mph at higher elevations.

With the potential to down trees and disrupt power in the region, the strongest winds are forecast for tonight and Sunday night. Sustained north to northeast winds of 20 to 40 mph are expected at elevations above 2,000 feet.

Areas around Mount Diablo and the East Bay Regional Park District are expected to be hit hardest by sustained winds and a prolonged wind event, according to the weather service.

The advisory is in effect from 7 a.m. today until 10 a.m. Monday and impacts Alameda, San Benito, Contra Costa, Marin, Monterey, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, and Sonoma counties.

The National Weather Service is advising residents to take precaution when operating barbecues and other outdoor ignition sources while the advisory is in effect.

Motorists are also advised to drive with care because the strong winds are expected to make driving more difficult, according to the weather service.

Patricia Decker, Bay City News

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