The warning is currently in effect until 6 p.m. for the Santa Monica Mountains Recreational Area, the San Gabriel Mountains, the Golden State (5) and Antelope Valley (14) freeway corridors, the Malibu Coast, Calabasas and the San Fernando and Santa Clarita valleys.
"A red flag warning means that critical fire weather conditions are either occurring now, or will shortly," said the National Weather Service. "Use extreme caution with anything that can spark a wildfire. Residents near wildland interfaces should be prepared to evacuate if a wildfire breaks out."
Forecasters said mountain areas could see winds gusting up to 45 mph, with isolated gusts up to 60 mph possible.
Humidity levels in all areas are expected to fall to between 8% to 15% during the warning period, forecasters said.
Winds were expected to have peaked by midday Thursday, followed by a gradual decrease that will continue through Friday. Forecasters noted, however, there was a slight chance that red flag conditions could linger in some of the most wind-prone areas until Friday.
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Most areas of the Southland will have above-normal temperatures Thursday, and while the winds are expected to die down, the warmer conditions are anticipated to last through Sunday, according to the NWS. Coastal and valley areas should see high temperatures in the mid-70s to lower 80s over the weekend.
Officials expect rainfall in these counties to last from about Tuesday through Saturday, with the highest chances of widespread rainfall on Wednesday and Thursday next week.
The NWS said to expect widespread 30-50 mph gusty winds throughout next week. The moderate threat for rain prompts warnings of urban flooding, power outages and canceled outdoor events, officials said.
Meanwhile, the dry and windy conditions prompted reminders from Southern California Edison that it may employ Public Safety Power Shutoffs in some areas, cutting power in areas impacted by winds that could damage power lines and potentially spark wildfires.
City News Service contributed to this report.