Strong Santa Ana winds will whip across the Southland Friday amid dry conditions, prompting meteorologists to declare a red
flag warning, denoting a high risk of wildfire.
NWS Red flag warnings were also declared for Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, the Inland Empire and parts of Orange and San Diego counties, including the Cleveland National Forest, where gusts ranging from 35 to 55 mph were expected amid humidity levels of below 15 percent.
The Los Angeles Fire Department also declared a red flag warning, meaning that parking restrictions will be in effect on hilly streets to permit fire department vehicles to pass unimpeded if their use becomes necessary.
NWS meteorologists forecast northeast winds across much of Los Angeles and Ventura counties on Friday, saying they would be even stronger Friday night into Saturday morning.
"During this time, wind gusts of 70 miles per hour can be expected near favored passes and canyons of the Los Angeles and Ventura County mountains, with gusts of between 50 and 60 mph in coastal and valley areas," according to an NWS advisory.
In metropolitan Los Angeles, northeast winds of between 20 and 30 mph, gusting to 50 mph below passes and canyons, will blow from Malibu to the Hollywood Hills at the height of the high-wind event, it said.
"The strong winds, in combination with humidity values of between 10 and 15 percent and critically dry fuels, will create explosive fire weather conditions across wind-prone areas of Los Angeles and Ventura counties," according to the advisory.
The winds will taper off Saturday afternoon, but humidity levels will remain low in mountain and valley areas through Sunday evening, the advisory said.
A wind advisory was scheduled to be in effect in much of Los Angeles County from 8 a.m. to noon, when a high wind warning intended to be in force until 2 p.m. Saturday will go into effect, according to the NWS.
Even before the wind advisory went into effect on Friday morning, strong winds whipped across the region, with the NWS reporting overnight gusts of 48 mph in Chilao, a Los Angeles County mountain locale, and 34 mph in the Malibu Hills.
High temperatures -- though several degrees lower than had been expected earlier in the week -- were forecast for Friday, including highs of 74 on Mount Wilson; 76 in Palmdale and Lancaster; 79 in Avalon, Newport Beach and Newhall; 87 at Lax; 89 in Pasadena, San Gabriel and Burbank; 90 in Long Beach, Woodland Hills and downtown L.A.; and 94 in Anaheim. (NBCLosAngeles Weather)