First Alert Forecast

Santa Ana Winds Are in SoCal's Thanksgiving Day Forecast

Expect strong winds and a holiday warmup before temperatures cool over the weekend in Southern California.

NBC Universal, Inc.

Thanksgiving in Southern California will include a large serving of Santa Ana winds.

Strong winds will pick up Wednesday night and increase through Thursday afternoon. A high wind watch begins Wednesday night in the Santa Monica and Los Angeles County Mountains and the Santa Clarita and San Fernando valleys.

A red flag warning will be in effect from 8 a.m. Thursday to 11 a.m. Friday for the Ventura County coast and coastal mountains in Los Angeles County. A red flag warning indicates the potential for critical fire weather conditions.

A fire weather watch begins at 1 a.m. Thursday and extends through Friday morning for the same areas. The watch was triggered by strong winds and low humidity levels, conditions that allow wildfires to rapidly spread.

Potentially damaging gusts up to 65 mph in some areas.

"(Thursday) is going to be a tough travel day," said NBC4 forecaster Belen De Leon. "The winds are going to be the strongest for the first half of the day. As we go into the evening, those winds will start to scale back. It's still going to remain a little gusty through Friday morning."

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Winds will arrive out of the east with the strongest gusts in the western San Fernando Valley and western Santa Monica Mountains.

Residents in fire-prone areas were urged ton prepare for possible brush fires that might lead to evacuations. Humidity levels will be in the single digits and teens.

Santa Ana winds are fueled by high pressure building into the Great Basin. The notoriously strong fall winds move through mountain passes and canyons, picking up speed.

Wind advisories are in effect for parts of Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties.

Temperatures will warm to near 80 in some areas before cooling over the weekend.

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