The threat of wildfire will return to the Southland Friday because of strong winds and very dry vegetation, but with far less severity than the area experienced earlier this week.
The National Weather Service had originally issued a fire weather watch for Friday morning into Saturday afternoon, but it was later upgraded to a red flag warning of extreme fire danger. The red flag warning, however, will only be in effect from 3 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday.
“Northeasterly winds will increase on Friday then slowly weaken Saturday and Sunday,” according to the NWS. “Wind gusts between 30 and 45 mph are expected over Los Angeles and Ventura counties during the Friday peak. Minimum humidities generally between 10 and 15 percent at lower elevations are expected.”
Humidity levels are expected to increase over the weekend, leading to “elevated” fire conditions on Saturday, but not up to red flag levels, according to the NWS.
The red flag warning will be in effect for the Santa Monica Mountains Recreational Area, Los Angeles County mountains, Angeles National Forest, Santa Clarita and San Gabriel valleys, San Fernando Valley and the metro Los Angeles and coastal areas.
As of midday, there was no warning issued for the Antelope Valley — the one L.A. County region for which no red flag warning was issued earlier this week.
Forecasters said winds of between 15 and 30 mph would blow though mountain areas and gust at 45 mph amid humidity levels of 10-20 percent, while wind speeds of 10-25 mph were expected in valley, coastal and urban areas with 35-mph gusts.
“If fire ignition occurs, conditions may be favorable for extreme fire behavior, which would threaten life and property,” according to the NWS.
The red flag warning will also be in force from 3 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday throughout Orange County. Forecasters said weak offshore flow will course through the county Friday, generating gusts of around 45 mph, and weaken on Saturday. Humidity levels are forecast to be 15 percent Friday.
The NWS forecast sunny skies in L.A. County Thursday and highs of 67 on Mount Wilson; 77 in Avalon; 78 in Palmdale; 79 in Lancaster 81 at LAX; 82 in Saugus; 83 in Long Beach and San Gabriel; 84 in downtown L.A; 86 in Burbank and Pasadena; and 87 in Woodland Hills. Friday’s highs will be four degrees higher in several communities.
Sunny skies were also forecast in Orange County Thursday, along with highs of 64 on Santiago Peak; 73 in San Clemente; 76 in Laguna Beach; 77 at 2600 feet on Ortega Highway; 79 in Newport Beach; 83 at Fremont Canyon; 85 in Anaheim, Irvine and Trabuco Canyon; 86 in Fullerton and Mission Viejo; and 88 in Yorba Linda. Friday’s temperatures will be similar, though four degrees higher in Irvine.
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