Gusty winds buffeted much of the Southland Monday, although with less intensity than originally anticipated, but forecasters said the blustery conditions are expected to continue through much of the week, with strong Santa Ana winds re-emerging by Thursday.
A wind advisory issued by the National Weather Service had been scheduled to be in effect until noon Monday in the San Gabriel Mountains, the Santa Monica Mountains Recreational Area and the San Fernando and Santa Clarita valleys, but it was canceled at 9 a.m.
The weather service warned, however, that winds of around 35 mph were still gusting in some areas.
Forecasters noted that the winds were being accompanied by warmer weather, with temperatures up nearly 10 degrees compared to Sunday in valley and coastal areas.
“Highs will easily push into the mid- to upper-80s for most of these areas today and lower- to mid-90s just inland,” according to the NWS.”
Another wind advisory will go into effect at midnight Monday night in the Santa Clarita Valley, continuing until noon Tuesday. Forecasters said the area can anticipate 15- to 25-mph winds gusting up to 35 to 40 mph.
“Gusty winds will make driving difficult and could blow around unsecured objects,” according to the NWS. “Tree limbs could be blown down and a few power outages may result.”
The winds are expected to die down on Wednesday, but stronger Santa Ana winds are expected to arrive possibly as early as Wednesday night and lasting into Friday. A fire weather watch will be in effect from late Wednesday night through Friday night for the Los Angeles County mountains, Santa Monica Mountains Recreational Area, Angeles National Forest, Orange County inland areas and the Santa Clarita, San Fernando and San Gabriel valleys.
Forecasters said there is “still some uncertainty in the strength of the winds, but peak gusts between 40 and 60 mph is the most likely outcome,” combined with humidity levels as low as 2 to 9% and temperatures ranging from 87 to 97 degrees. Depending on how the forecast develops, the fire weather watch could potentially be elevated to a red flag warning of critical fire danger.
Local fire officials remained on high alert due to the windy and dry conditions. Crews responded to and quickly doused a handful of flare-ups across the Southland Monday.
U.S. Forest Service officials urged people across the state to use caution in forest lands and be alert for fire threats, including any abandoned campfires that might still be smoldering.
Orange County Fire Authority officials said Sunday the agency was bolstering its staffing during the hot and dry conditions in hopes of being able to quickly douse any blazes that erupt.
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