The region awoke to wind and cold weather Wednesday morning, but forecasters said sunny skies and warmer temperatures would soon return to Southern California.

Strong winds battered the Southland overnight, knocking down tree branches and power lines across parts of the region. Those gusts -- hitting up to 45 mph in the mountains and up to 35 mph in valley areas -- should subside by Wednesday afternoon, said meteorologist Andrew Rorke with the National Weather Service in Oxnard.

Temperatures are expected to reach the mid-60s, only slightly below normal.

"When the sun comes up, it will start warming up pretty nicely," Rorke said.

But temperatures are expected to plummet Wednesday night to "the coldest they've been in many months," Rorke said. Valley areas could see temperatures hovering around freezing levels, with some parts of the Antelope Valley dipping down into the teens, Rorke said.

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-- Kate Mather, Los Angeles Times

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