palm trees in wind
Photo via Pixabay.

The first hot licks of Santa Ana winds began to toast the hills and canyons of Southern California Sunday, in advance of a large Santa Ana windstorm in the forecasts.

“And so it begins,” noted the National Weather Service analysis, as a “monster” high pressure ridge set up over Idaho Sunday, squeezing air down into deserts and through mountains toward the Pacific coast. The latest maps showed the offshore winds would be stronger than had been forecast on Saturday, and they may last into Wednesday.

Forty-one mile per hour wind gusts had been clocked near the Santa Ana River Canyon near Anaheim by 10 a.m. Near Palm Springs, winds in the San Gorgonio Pass were gusting to 32 miles per hour at Banning, and peaks gusts were clocked at Boulevard, in the mountains 45 miles east of San Diego.

Southern Californians were told to brace for 100-degree-plus temperatures and winds of up to 65 miles per hour in canyons and mountains, as the weather maps Sunday pointed to critically dangerous fire weather on Monday and Tuesday.

Highs of 103 were predicted for the San Fernando Valley Monday and Tuesday, and winds of between 40-50 miles per hour in passes, and up to 65 mile per hour gusts, were forecast.

Red Flag Warnings were up Sunday in all the windiest places, including the inland valleys and Santa Monica Mountains east and west of Malibu.

The fire in Mt. Wilson in the San Gabriel Mountains was now 70 percent contained and charred about 50 acres, according to the sheriff’s department. There was now 331 personnel assigned to battle the fire, with Red Flag conditions enhancing the danger. The personnel and equipment assigned includes seven hotshot hand crews, 14 engines, nine bulldozers and four assigned aircraft.

Ground crews assisted by aircraft continue their containment and mop-up duties and were monitoring hotspots in the fire zone. Because of the increased fire danger roads into Mt. Wilson remain closed, according to the sheriff’s department.


The City of Los Angeles Fire Department would be “redeploying their resources to put extra engines in places that are historically prone to wildfires, such as Santa Monica mountain range, Pacific Palisades etc.” But spokesman Brian Humphrey said plans were still being drafted, and the redeployments would happen Monday.

Los Angeles County would also ne adjusting tis staffing, a dispatcher said. More details were not available.

In Santa Ana, the Orange County Fire Authority has “fully manned two different strike teams, have two extra bulldozers ready, fully staffed their hand crews and engine crew and have two water dropping helicopters fully staffed,” according to Capt. Paul Holaday. The extra preparations started Sunday morning and will be evaluated again on Tuesday.

At Dodger Stadium, Santa Anas may engulf Game One of the World Series, possibly blowing over of the outfield pavilion and directly toward home plate.

Heat might also be a factor for both Game One and Two in Los Angeles. Forecasters Sunday warned that Tuesday and Wednesday could deliver the hottest World Series game ever, with game time temperatures near 100 degrees.

“Games One and Two might be the hottest World Series games on record at the time of the first pitch,” said AccuWeather senior meteorologist Dan Pydynowski on the company’s website.

The high temperature expected in the early afternoon at Dodger Stadium? Up to 104 degrees.

Game-time is at 5:09 Tuesday, as the two red-hot teams may see their home run power throttled by the strong winds blowing from behind the pitcher.

The previous record hot day at a World Series game was in 2001 in Phoenix, when the New York Yankees and Arizona Diamondbacks played. It was 98 in downtown Phoenix that day, according to AccuWeather, but the Phoenix stadium has air conditioning that functions even when the retractable roof is open.

–City News Service

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