Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Santa Ana wind conditions expected this week, raising fire risk in Southern California

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Moderate to strong Santa Ana winds are expected to continue throughout the week in Southern California, potentially sparking fire weather conditions in some areas, forecasters said Sunday.

Residents should prepare for gusty winds Tuesday to Thursday with a slight pause before another round of strong gusts Saturday and Sunday, said Rich Thompson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. They are expected to be the strongest Santa Ana wind conditions so far this season.

“It’s going to be a pretty impressive event,” Thompson said.

Residents should brace themselves for downed trees, power outages and fire weather issues in Ventura and Los Angeles counties, he said.

Widespread wind gusts are expected to begin Tuesday morning and reach 35 to 55 mph across most of the region. Gusts up to 70 mph are possible in mountain passes and canyons, Thompson said. Winds will begin to die down Thursday afternoon. A lull is expected for Friday before winds pick up again Saturday into Sunday.

Temperatures are expected to remain in the low to mid-70s throughout the week while dry conditions persist, he said. Humidity will gradually lower to near critical levels at 15% to 30% in some areas.

There is a potential for fire weather conditions in Ventura and Los Angeles counties, which didn’t receive as much rain as their neighbors in Orange County, the Inland Empire and San Diego.

“Just because we got the rain recently doesn’t mean we got enough to end the fire season,” Thompson said of Ventura and L.A. counties. “The potential is there for fire with these winds.”

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