Discussion: Red Flag Warnings are in effect for parts of Southern California as fire weather conditions reach critical levels throughout the weekend into Monday afternoon. A moderate to locally strong Santa Ana wind event has developed over the area. These winds combined with the near record temperatures in the mid 80s, low relative humidity values, and dry vegetation will bring elevated conditions to the mountains and valleys in both Los Angeles and Ventura County. Gusty winds were expected to start around 10 PM PST Saturday and are expected to last through Monday afternoon. A red flag warning is issued when the weather conditions may indicate a period of weather that could lead to extreme burning conditions. During this time, it is important to heed local burn bans, properly discard any cigarettes, and avoid activities that cause open flames or sparks. With the dry vegetation, warm temperatures, gusty winds, and low humidity it doesn’t take much to spark a wildfire!
Santa Ana winds are most often characterized as being hot/dry winds which blow in from the desert towards the coast. These winds tend to occur during the following time frame (between September and May) when the desert is cooler than the Los Angeles basin. To learn more about fire weather and fire weather education, be sure to click here!
© 2018 Meteorologist Shannon Scully