Red Flag Warning for Southern California
A Red Flag warning indicating a high risk of wildfire will be in force in mountain, forest and valley areas of the Southern California from Tuesday to Thursday because of fierce winds, low humidity, high temperatures and very dry vegetation.
Tuesday’s temperatures will be close to, or at normal levels but sharply higher by Thursday, 22 degrees above normal in downtown LA, 18 degrees higher in Burbank, and 19 degrees above the norm in Woodland Hills, according to the National Weather Service.
The Red Flag warning will be in force from 3:00p Tuesday until 8:00p Thursday in the San Gabriel Mountains in LA and Ventura counties, the Angeles National Forest in LA County, the Los Padres National Forest in Ventura County, the Santa Monica Mountains, the San Fernando and Santa Clarita valleys, and the L.A. coastal zone, which includes beach cities, Metro LA and the Hollywood Hills.
The strongest winds are expected in the national forests and San Gabriel mountains, especially the Interstate 5 Corridor, with sustained wind speeds of between 20 and 35 mph and 50-mph gusts, although gusts of more than 60 mph may be recorded at Whitaker Peak, said National Weather Service forecasters.
By late Tuesday, the north winds will shift to the northeast and become warm Santa Ana winds, blowing at between 20 and 35 mph and gusting to between 45 and 55 mph through Thursday, helping to lower humidity levels to between 3 and 15%, they said. The wind will be slightly tamer in the valleys and in Los Angeles.
“The combination of gusty north-to-northeast winds, very low humidity and warm temperatures will create critical fire weather conditions across the warning area,” warned an NWS statement. “This in combination with the very dry fuels could cause very rapid fire spread along with extreme fire danger and fire behavior.”
Along the coast, a beach hazard statement, a notch less severe than a high surf advisory, will be in effect through Tuesday afternoon, with the NWS forecasting surf of 4 to 6 feet and sets of up to 7 feet along west-facing beaches.
“Large waves and strong rip currents will increase the risk of ocean drowning,” warned an NWS statement. “Sneaker waves can suddenly wash people off of beaches and rock jetties into the ocean.”
Temperatures will rise sharply Wednesday, when Long Beach is forecast to reach a high of 95 degrees, 19 degrees higher than Tuesday’s forecast high, and a little less sharply Thursday, when Long Beach will reach 101 degrees, 1 degree more than in the San Fernando Valley.
Temperatures will begin a slow retreat Thursday.
Sunny skies were forecast in Orange County, along with highs of 72 in Newport Beach and San Clemente; 74 in Laguna Beach; 77 in Anaheim, Irvine and Mission Viejo; and 78 in Mission Viejo and Yorba Linda, where Wednesday’s high will be 94 degrees, rising to 98 degrees Thursday before falling back to 95 on Friday and several more degrees after that.
From City News Service
Paul Ebeling, Editor