Cold and windy weather is expected to hit northern and central California late Monday and stick around until New Year's Day, according to the National Weather Service. Officials said the system will bring strong north to northwest winds to the San Francisco and Monterey bay areas. Freezing temperatures are also expected in isolated, wind-sheltered locations by late Tuesday night. More widespread freezing is possible Wednesday night and into Thursday morning, especially across inland areas. The strongest winds across the Bay Area and Santa Cruz County will be from noon Tuesday through noon Wednesday and could reach up to 45 mph, according to the weather service. Wind gusts could reach up to 55 mph in the North and East bay areas.