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Strong winds forecasted across Southland, high risk of wildfire reported

Strong winds will blow across the Southland today amid low humidity, prompting National Weather Service forecasters to issue a red flag warning indicating a high risk of wildfire.

The warning was scheduled to be in force until 6 p.m. Wednesday in the Santa Clarita Valley, both the San Gabriel and Santa Monica mountains, the Angeles National Forest in L.A. County, the Los Padres National Forest in Ventura County, and Orange County.

Those areas were expected to experience today winds of between 15 and 25 miles per hour and 40-mph gusts, according to an NWS statement. The winds will get even more treacherous as the weak wears on, according to the statement, which forecast winds of between 20 and 35 mph gusting to 50 mph Tuesday and Wednesday.

A fire weather watch, which is a notch less serious than a red flag warning, will be in effect from late tonight through Wednesday afternoon in the San Fernando Valley, the Los Angeles coastal zone, and the interior and coastal valleys of Ventura County. The L.A. coastal zone encompasses beach cities, metropolitan L.A. — including downtown — and the Hollywood Hills.

Also in effect — until noon Wednesday — was a high wind warning in Orange County and, until 3 p.m. today, a wind advisory in the Santa Monica mountains, where gusts of up to 50 mph are possible, according to forecasters.

Humidity levels, meanwhile, will range from 8 to 18 percent, according to NWS forecasters, and temperatures will be unseasonably high. Generally, they will be 5 degrees higher than average today, 10 degrees higher Tuesday, 15 degrees Wednesday and back to around 10 degrees above normal Thursday, meteorologist Kathy Hoxsie said early this morning from the NWS monitoring station in Oxnard.

The NWS forecast highs today of 62 on Mount Wilson; 63 in Palmdale and Lancaster; 69 in Saugus; 73 in San Clemente; 76 in Laguna Beach; 77 in Avalon; 78 in Pasadena, San Gabriel and Newport Beach; 79 in Burbank and at LAX; 80 in Yorba Linda; 81 in downtown L.A. and Mission Viejo; and 82 in Fullerton, Anaheim and Irvine.

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