Thursday, December 01, 2022

Southern California winds to pass Santa Ana on Thanksgiving

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Strong Santa Ana winds and low humidity across Southern California are expected to subside by Monday, but another system will blow through the region starting Wednesday and will continue until a gusty Thanksgiving Thursday morning.

The red flag warning went into effect at 9 a.m. on Sunday and will expire at 3 p.m. on Monday, which coincides with the wind warning, according to the National Meteorological Service. The current Santa Ana wind sweeping across the Los Angeles Basin is expected to peak on Sunday.

Wind gusts can reach 55 mph in parts of Los Angeles, Ventura, and San Bernardino counties. Forecasts show sporadic winds in the canyons and higher passes at speeds up to 60 miles per hour. Wind gusts will begin to subside on Monday, about 10-15 miles per hour less than Sunday, forecasters said. Humidity will decline in much of Southern California due to strong winds, reaching single digits in parts of the basin, including Anaheim, San Bernardino, Riverside and Lake Elsinore. This will create critical fire conditions with a dry brush ready to ignite.

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“Areas marked with a red flag will have an increased risk of fires with rapid spread, long-range detection and extreme fire behavior, especially given the dry fuel used throughout the region,” the meteorological service said.

The red flag warning will extend from Santa Barbara through Los Angeles County to Orange County and the entire coast. Wind gusts will stop for most of the region on Tuesday, but they are expected to start again by Wednesday afternoon, according to the National Weather Service.

“By late Wednesday or early afternoon, we’re starting to see another event in Santa Ana that lasts at least Saturday and peaks on Thanksgiving evening or morning,” said Stephanie Sullivan, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in San Diego.

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The Santa Ana event is forecast to be weaker this week than the winds that swept across the region on Sunday. It’s too early to tell if conditions will require another alert, but with no rain in the forecast next week is likely to be a dry holiday.

Temperatures in the Los Angeles Basin will hit the 80s on Sunday and begin to decline from Tuesday, but are expected to rise again from Thursday. Conditions are warmer and drier than average. Since December, forecasts have shown above average temperatures for much of Southern California and a low probability of rain, according to the Weather Service.

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