Santa Ana Winds Prompt Fire Warning

Winds could gust to 65 mph, prompting fire officials to be on alert for brush fires

The National Weather Service issued Red Flag Warnings for overnight in the San Fernando, San Gabriel and Santa Clarita valleys, the San Gabriel Mountains, and the hills and mountains from Dodger Stadium west to Malibu.

The winds were expected to hit Orange County's eastern hills at about 8 a.m. Sunday and last all day there, the NWS said.

Weather Page: Extended Forecast, Radar, Tidal Forecast

Los Angeles city firefighters were looking at hillsides covered with vegetation that has dried out in recent windstorms, and were considering whether to invoke emergency fire-weather bans for on-street parking in the Hollywood Hills, a spokesman said.

With clockwise winds wrapping around a high-pressure building over the Great Basin, local winds will pick up this evening, out of the north and east.

Desert winds were expected to start acting up at about 10 p.m. tonight in Acton and the San Gabriel Mountains, and then spread into Los Angeles and vicinity by 2 a.m. Sunday, and Orange County by 8 a.m., the NWS said.

Peak gusts of 60 miles per hour in the hills and 50 mph in the flat valleys were anticipated, but winds are expected to dissipate by Sunday evening, the NWS said.

The relative humidity at times will drop to 10-15 percent -- and below 10 percent in some spots. A NWS fire weather watch is issued when condition are ripe for a wildfire to spread rapidly.

Today's highs were noticeably cooler, mostly in the upper 60s. But the offshore winds will heat up the Los Angeles Basin again on Sunday, pushing highs back into the 70s. Offshore winds in winter generally even out the valley- to-coast temperature spread, which can be dramatic in the summer, when the valleys can be steamy in the 90s and the beaches chilly and foggy in the 60s.

Snow levels in the eastern Sierra Nevada, where Los Angeles gets much of its water from snow melt via the Owens Valley, are among the lowest on record for this time of year.

Typically, the southern sierra gets several feet of snow in December, but it was practically dry this past fall. On average, downtown Los Angeles gets about 15 inches of rain per year.

A high surf advisory, meanwhile, was in effect early Saturday as some beaches saw strong rip currents and waves up to 10 feet.

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