Gusty Santa Ana winds again will sweep the Southland Friday amid sunny skies and unseasonably warm temperatures.
At a time when much of the country is shivering, the temperature may reach 80 in downtown Los Angeles Friday afternoon, marking the 12th day this month of highs of 80 or above.
If the thermometer does reach 80 in downtown, as expected, it will be only the second January to feature 12 or more days of highs of 80 or above in Los Angeles since this sort of record-keeping began in July 1877, said National Weather Service meteorologist Dave Bruno. The previous time was in 2003.
The week's wind event, meanwhile, is expected to last through Friday afternoon as a moderate offshore flow pattern continues to to generate gusty northeast Santa Ana Winds in portions of the Southland.
A wind advisory, which reflects a forecast of winds blowing at 35 mph or greater, will be in effect until 2 p.m. in the San Fernando and Santa Clarita valleys; the mountains of Los Angeles County, including the Santa Monica Mountains Recreational Area; L.A.'s coastal area, which includes the shore, metropolitan Los Angeles and the Hollywood Hills; the coastal areas of
Orange County; and the mountains, valleys and coast of Ventura County.
Winds of between 15 and 35 mph will buffet the areas subject to the wind advisory, gusting to 40 mph in most places but 60 mph in the mountains, according to the NWS, which warned that driving in such high winds could prove difficult, especially for operators of high-profile vehicles.
The offshore flow of warm Santa Anas winds partly explains the region's unseasonably warm temperatures, according to forecasters.
The other underlying factor behind the high temperatures, which have been running 10-12 degrees above normal, is the upper-level high parked over the West Coast, providing a "nice warm weather ridge while every else is freezing, experiencing particularly brutal weather in the northeast and the South," Bruno said.
But that pattern might change toward the end of next week, when the ridge finally breaks down and flattens out, allowing a storm system originating in the central Pacific to move into the West Coast, he said.
Highs Friday were forecast to be 65 on Mount Wilson; 66 in Palmdale and Lancaster; 73 in Newhall; 74 in Avalon; 75 in Newport Beach; 77 at LAX; 79 in Woodland Hills; 80 in Burbank; 81 in downtown L.A., Long Beach and Pasadena; 82 in San Gabriel; and 84 in Anaheim.
Temperatures were expected to remain on the warm side until Thursday, when rain and a precipitous temperature drop are expected.