Cold, dry Santa Ana winds will blast Southern California Saturday for another day of danger from falling trees, possible wildfires and driving distraction.
However, the worst winds will subside later in the afternoon bringing mild temperatures with sunny skies to the early December holiday season.
Winds of 25 to 35 mph – with gusts much greater – will be around until at least midday before subsiding.
Wild winds began tormenting the Southland Friday, and their were gusts of at least 75 mph in some mountain areas.
After overnight low temperatures in the 40s in most areas, the mercury is expected to top out at about 70 Saturday in the downtown Los Angeles area. But overnight lows in local mountains may dip into the low 20s.
Conditions conducive to the outbreak of wildfires will prevail over much of the Southland — including in mountain, forest, valley and urban areas — because of strong Santa Ana winds and very low humidity.
A red flag warning denoting fire-weather conditions will be in force from noon until 6 p.m. Saturday in the Santa Monica Mountains, inland Orange County, the San Fernando, Santa Clarita, and eastern San Gabriel valleys, and the L.A County costal zone, which includes beach cities, metropolitan Los Angeles and the Hollywood Hills.
A fire weather watch — one notch less severe than a red flag warning — will be in force in the San Gabriel Mountains and the Angeles National Forest through Saturday afternoon. The mountains and forest are being spared a red flag warning for now because the humidity level will be a little higher than where the red flag warning has been issued.
The wind in the red flag areas will blow at between 15 and 40 miles per hour, with gusts of more than 60 mph amid humidity levels of between 8 and 15 percent, according to the National Weather Service. The San Gabriel Mountains and Angeles National Forest will also be buffeted by high winds — 25-45 mph, with 70-mph gusts — but the humidity level will be slightly higher, reaching 20 percent, forecasters said.
Also in effect in several areas were high wind warnings, which indicate sustained winds or gusts of 58 mph and are more serious than wind advisories, which denote 35-mph winds.
— From Staff and Wire Reports