Red Flag warnings return to SoCal with Santa Ana winds, high temps

- Much of the Southland --- including valleys, forests and mountains -- was under a red Flag warning Monday because of a mixture of strong Santa Ana winds, low humidity and high temperatures.

A red flag warning will be in effect until 6 tonight in the San Gabriel and Santa Monica mountains in Los Angeles and Ventura counties, the Angeles National Forest in L.A. 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.

"A combination of strong winds, low relative humidity and warm temperatures will create extreme fire behavior,'' warned an NWS statement, forecasting a drop of humidity levels into the teens and single digits.

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.

Winds these strong will make driving difficult, especially for motorists in high-profile vehicles, and could send trees and power lines toppling, an NWS statement said.

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 San Fernando Valley and the coastal zone.

At the same time, abnormally high summer-like temperatures were expected -- around 18 degrees higher than normal in some areas.

The NWS forecast sunny skies today and highs of 70 on Mount Wilson and in Palmdale; 71 in Lancaster; 76 in Laguna Beach; 77 in Newport Beach; 79 in Avalon; 80 in San Clemente; 82 in Saugus; 85 in Irvine; 86 at LAX and in Anaheim; 87 in Fullerton, Mission Viejo, Long Beach and downtown L.A.; 88 in Woodland Hills; 89 in Pasadena and Burbank; and 90 in San Gabriel and Yorba Linda.

Conditions will remain warm and sunny Tuesday, and a cooling trend will begin Wednesday, when temperatures  will still be above normal.

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