Gusts in coastal mountains near Los Angeles reached as high as 73 mph early Sunday, while the day brought sunny skies with high temperatures in the mid-80s. The winds toppled some trees and caused power outages that left about 1,800 people without electricity in Los Angeles County, representatives of local utilities said.
In the afternoon, winds gusting up to 32 mph caused delays of up to an hour for flights taking off or landing at Los Angeles International Airport.
High winds were also reported in the nearby Western states of Arizona, Nevada and New Mexico. Winds sent dust across the Sunday morning sky in Phoenix, knocked out power and disrupted events in the Las Vegas Valley overnight, and led to a health alert over blowing dust in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
The conditions in the Los Angeles and Las Vegas areas translated into "red flag" fire warnings, with authorities saying that any wildland flames would quickly spread out of control.
The high pressure system that created the conditions should by midweek to push temperatures to near record highs — 100 degrees or more in inland areas already parched by drought.
High temperatures will extend up and down California, according to the National Weather Service.
In the San Francisco Bay Area, the service said to expect "a robust warming trend" through Wednesday, with projected highs in coastal areas near 90 degrees and inland highs around 100 degrees.