A widespread area of Southern California is under a high fire danger warning Monday because of strong Santa Ana winds, low humidity and possible record heat.
Summerlike temperatures were expected to remain abnormally high -- around 18 degrees higher than normal in some areas -- possibly reaching 85 in downtown L.A. and 90 in Yorba Linda. The downtown LA record for Monday is 85, set in 1996. The record for Feb. 9 is 86, set in 1907.
"In some areas, you can leave the jacket at home," said NBC4 forecaster Crystal Egger. "This is, on average, our coolest and wettest month of the year."
Temperatures are expect to drop back to near normal late this week.
The red flag warning will be in effect until 6 p.m. in the San Gabriel and Santa Monica mountains in Los Angeles and Ventura counties, the Angeles National Forest in LA County; the Los Padres National Forest in Ventura County; L.A. County's San Fernando, Santa Clarita and San Gabriel valleys; and the L.A. coastal zone, which includes beach cities, metropolitan Los Angeles, downtown L.A., and the Hollywood Hills.
The combination of strong winds, low relative humidity and warm temperatures will create conditions that could lead to the rapid spread of fire.
A high wind warning denoting an expectation of 58-mile-per-hour gusts will be in force until 2 p.m. in the San Gabriel and Santa Monica mountains. National Weather Service forecasters said northeast winds of between 25 and 40 miles per hour would sweep mountain areas, gusting to between 60 and 70 mph. A less serious wind advisory will be in effect until 2 p.m. in the San Fernando and San Gabriel valleys and the Los Angeles coastal zone. The NWS forecast winds of 15-25 mph with 40-mph gusts in the foothills in the San Gabriel Valley and between 20 and 35 mph with gusts of between 40 and 50 mph in the valleys and the coastal zone.
At the same time, summertime temperatures were expected to remain abnormally high -- around 18 degrees higher than normal in some areas -- possibly reaching 85 in downtown L.A. and 90 in Yorba Linda.