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Gusty Winds Elevate Wildfire Danger to ‘Extreme’ in Los Angeles

Latest weather news.
Latest weather news.

Gusty winds buffeted the Southland amid relatively low humidity today, creating a danger of wildfire ranging from “elevated” to “extreme,” the National Weather Service said.

But as of this morning, a red flag warning, which denotes a high risk of wildfire, was in force only in the San Gabriel Mountains in Los Angeles and Ventura counties and the forests through which they run — the Angeles National Forest in L.A. County and the Los Padres National Forest in Ventura County. It was scheduled to expire at 6 p.m., even though forecasters expect the winds to begin dying down at mid-day.

“A red flag warning is … in effect for the mountains of Los Angeles and Ventura counties from early this morning (4 a.m.) through this evening, where extreme fire danger exists,” said an NWS statement. “The remainder of Southern California has elevated fire danger due to the gusty Santa Ana winds and lowering humidities.”

The humidity level was in the 15-25 percent range overnight and forecast to go down to the 8-18 percent level, said NWS meteorologist Todd Hall in a telephone interview from his monitoring station in Oxnard.

In the Santa Monica mountains, a high wind warning indicating an expectation of gusts of at least 58 miles per hour was scheduled to be in effect until noon, with NWS forecasters saying that, until then, they’re expecting 25-35 mph winds and 60-mph gusts.

A less serious wind advisory was scheduled to be in force until noon in the San Fernando, Santa Clarita and San Gabriel valleys and the Los Angeles coastal zone, which includes such beachside cities as Malibu, plus metropolitan Los Angeles, downtown, and the Hollywood Hills. In Orange County, a wind advisory will be in effect until 5 p.m.

Winds of between 15 and 30 mph with gusts of up to 50-mph were expected in the areas subject to the wind advisory, prompting the NWS to warn that driving in such conditions could be difficult, especially in high-profile vehicles.

Also in effect today was a coastal flood advisory, which will be in force along the L.A. County coast until 2 p.m. as a result of high surf and high tides, raising the risk of some coastal flooding, according to the NWS.

The NWS forecast sunny skies today and highs of 71 on Mount Wilson; 75 in Palmdale and Lancaster; 76 in Saugus; 80 in Avalon; 81 at LAX; 83 in San Gabriel and Woodland Hills; 84 in Pasadena, Burbank and Newport Beach; 85 in Long Beach and San Clemente; 86 in downtown L.A.; 87 in Mission Viejo; 88 in Anaheim, Laguna Beach and Irvine; 89 in Fullerton; and 90 in Yorba Linda.

Saturday’s temperatures will be around four degrees higher in many communities. The weekend is expected forecast to be sunny, but rain is forecast in the Southland for Monday, followed by showers Tuesday and Wednesday.

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