Santa Ana winds bring warm temperatures to SoCal

- Warm Santa Ana Winds swept the Southland Thursday, spreading above-normal temperatures, which will top 80 degrees Fahrenheit in some areas, including downtown L.A., forecasters said.

But temperatures will not reach record territory, although an expected high of 78 at LAX on Friday would match a record for a March 3, which was set in 1972, said National Weather Service meteorologist Curt Kaplan. Burbank, with a high of 79, will be 10 degrees above normal today but short of the record of 87.

The weak to moderate wind event forecast by the NWS will feature "your typical, garden variety Santa Anas,'' Kaplan said.

A wind advisory will be in effect until 2 p.m. in the San Gabriel Mountains, the Santa Monica Mountain Recreational Area, the San Fernando and Santa Clarita valleys, and the L.A. County coastal zone, which includes beach cities, downtown L.A., metropolitan Los Angeles, and the Hollywood Hills.

The mountains and valleys will be buffeted by winds of between 20 and 30 miles per hour, gusting at between 40 and 50 mph, according to the NWS, while winds of between 15 and 25 mph with gusts reaching 35 mph are expected in the coastal zone.

In mountain areas, gusty winds will make driving difficult, especially for high-profile vehicles and especially on the Interstate 5 and Antelope Valley (14) Freeway corridors, the NWS said.

At 9:20 a.m., the NWS said that in the previous three hours it had recorded wind gusts of 53 mph at Camp Nine in the San Gabriels, 43 mph in the Malibu Hills in the Santa Monicas, and 35 mph in Porter Ranch.

Single-digit humidity levels are possible today and Friday in the valleys and at high elevations in the mountains, the weather service said, but no warnings of wildfire were immediately issued.

Sunny skies were forecast in L.A. County today, along with highs of 67 degrees Fahrenheit in Palmdale and Lancaster; 68 on Mount Wilson; 72 in Avalon; 75 in Saugus; 77 in San Gabriel and at LAX; 78 in Pasadena; 79 in Burbank; and 81 in Woodland Hills, Long Beach and downtown L.A.

Friday's temperatures will be the same as today in some communities, higher in others, but fall sharply Sunday, even though sunny skies are expected. By Monday, under mostly cloudy skies, downtown L.A. will be 19 degrees cooler than today, but then temperatures will rise again, reaching 75 downtown by Wednesday.

Sunny skies were forecast in Orange County today, along with highs of 68 in Laguna Beach; 70 in San Clemente; 73 in Newport Beach; 77 in Anaheim; 78 in Fullerton and Mission Viejo; 79 in Yorba Linda; and 80 in Irvine.

Orange County temperatures will be about the same Friday but dip by several degrees beginning Saturday, when highs in some communities will be 10 degrees lower than today. A slow warming trend will begin Sunday.

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