Red Flag conditions return to Southland: High winds, low humidity

A red flag warning signifying a high risk of wildfire will be in effect in the Southland through Monday night because of gusty winds and very low humidity in much of Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties.

The National Weather Service said that strong and gusty north-to-northeast winds will buffet the San Gabriel Mountains in Los Angeles and Ventura counties, including the Interstate 5 Corridor. Other areas expecting gusty north-to-northeast winds include the Santa Monica Mountains, the Santa Clarita and San Fernando valleys, the Los Angeles County coast and Ventura County Valleys.

North winds will spread into the L.A. Basin overnight, then become
northeast between Malibu and the Hollywood Hills, meaning most of metropolitan Los Angeles, the weather service said.

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Wind gusts in these areas will be in the 40-to-50 mile-per-hour range, with gusts of up to 55 mph in the Santa Monica Mountains.

Humidity levels are expected to lower drop into the single digits and teens for many areas on Monday. Hot temperatures are also expected from the coast to the foothills of Ventura and Los Angeles Counties Monday afternoon, according to the NWS.

"The combination of the strong gusty winds, low humidities and very warm daytime temperatures will result in critical Red Flag conditions for these areas,'' warned the NWS.

The red flag warning will be in effect until 7 p.m. in the San Gabriel Mountains, where north winds of 25 to 40 mph are expected, along with 60- mph gusts, amid humidity levels of 6-15 percent.

"If fire ignition occurs, conditions will be favorable for extreme fire behavior, which would threaten life and property," warned the NWS.

The red flag warning will also be in effect until 7 p.m. in the Santa Clarita and San Fernando valleys, the Santa Monica Mountains Recreational area, the L.A County coast and inland Orange County.

Also in effect until 7 p.m. is a heat advisory in both coastal and inland Orange County, where temperatures will climb to the low 90s today, as well as in Los Angeles and neighboring beach cities amid highs in the high 80s.

"Drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air-conditioned room, stay out of the sun, and check up on relatives and neighbors. Young children and pets should never be left unattended in vehicles under any circumstance," warned the NWS.

Additionally, several advisories were issued -- just with respect to the wind.

A high wind warning -- the most serious of Monday's cautionary statements on the wind, will be in effect until noon in the San Gabriel Mountains, where winds of 25-40 mph are forecast, along with 60-mph gusts.

"Damaging winds will blow down large objects such as trees and power lines. Power outages are expected. Travel will be difficult, especially for high-profile vehicles. This includes Highway 33 in Ventura County as well as Interstate 5 and Highway 14 in Los Angeles County,'' warned the NWS.

In Los Angeles and nearby beach cities, a wind advisory will be in effect until noon amid winds of 15-25 mph, gusting to 40 mph.

A wind advisory will be in force until 3 p.m. in the Santa Monica Mountains and the Santa Clarita and San Fernando valleys amid winds of 25 to 40 mph, with gusts of 50-55 mph.

The NWS at 5 this morning reported the strongest wind gusts chronicled in the previous 12 hours. They included 76 mph at Whitaker Peak in the SanGabriel  Mountains, 61 mph at Browns Canyon in the San Fernando Valley, 56 mph at Saddle Peak in the Santa Monica Mountains, 51 mph in Saugus in the Santa Clarita Valley, 46 mph at Escondido Canyon along the coast and 43 mph in Lancaster in the Antelope Valley.

Sunny skies were forecast in L.A. County Monday, along with highs of 72 on Mount Wilson, 79 in Palmdale; 80 in Lancaster; 81 in Avalon; 84 in Saugus; 85 at LAX; 88 in San Gabriel; 89 in Burbank, Long Beach and Downtown L.A.; 90 in Pasadena; and 91 in Woodland Hills. A cooling trend will get underway Tuesday, producing highs in the 70s and 80s over the coming days.

Sunny skies were also forecast in Orange County, along with highs of 66 on Santiago Peak; 78 on Ortega Highway at 2,600 feet; 80 in Newport Beach; 81 in San Clemente; 83 in Laguna Beach; 84 at Fremont Canyon; 87 at Trabuco Canyon; 88 in Yorba Linda; 90 in mission Viejo; and 91 in Fullerton, Anaheim and Irvine. Temperatures will zig-zag in Orange County this week, reaching the low 100s in Fullerton and Irvine Tuesday and the high 90s in Anaheim and Mission Viejo, and by Sunday will be around 10 degrees lower than Monday.