PALM SPRINGS, Calif. -

Strong winds whipped across the Southland for a third consecutive day today, and perilous swimming conditions prevailed along the coast.

Gusts of 78 miles per hour were recorded this morning at Whitaker Peak in the San Gabriel Mountains, 49 mph in Sandberg in the Antelope Valley, and 37 mph in the Newhall Pass. Strong gusts also will be felt tonight in the Interstate 5 corridor, according to the National Weather Service, which issued a wind advisory that will be in force in mountain areas until 3 a.m. Thursday.

NWS forecasters said winds of between 25 and 35 miles per hour would buffet mountain areas, gusting to 50 mph over I-5, according to an NWS advisory.

``Winds this strong can make driving difficult, especially for high-profile vehicles, particularly on Interstate 5 through The Grapevine,'' it said.
Along the coast, the surf is expected to reach between three and five feet today, and there will be ``very strong currents and dangerous swimming conditions,'' according to an NWS advisory.

Temperatures, meanwhile, will rise a few degrees today. The NWS forecast highs of 70 in Newport Beach; 73 on Mount Wilson; 75 in Avalon; 78 at LAX; 79 in Anaheim; 84 in Palmdale; 85 in downtown L.A., Long Beach and Lancaster; 87 in Saugus; 89 in San Gabriel; 90 in Pasadena and Burbank; and 91 in Woodland Hills.