Record temps, winds possible as SoCal endures another fall heat wave

Strong, gusty Santa Ana winds again will buffet the Southland Thursday and temperatures will be around 20 degrees above normal in some areas, prompting the National Weather Service to warm of an "extreme fire danger" and the possibility of heat-related illnesses.

A red flag warning that denotes a high risk of wildfire and that was issued because of the wind, very low humidity, dry vegetation and high temperatures is in its third and final day.

The warning will be in effect until 8 p.m. in the San Gabriel Mountains in L.A. and Ventura counties, the Angeles and Los Padres national forests, the Santa Monica Mountains, the San Fernando and Santa Clarita valleys, interior Orange County, and the L.A. County coastal zone, which includes beach cities, metropolitan L.A. and the Hollywood Hills.

The wind is expected to blow at between 15 and 30 miles per hour in the areas under warning, gusting to around 45 mph, and possibly 50 mph on some western Santa Monica Mountain peaks, according to the NWS. At the same time, humidity levels will remain at between 3 and 15 percent.

"The combination of gusty northwest winds, very low humidity and warm temperatures will create critical fire weather conditions across the warning area," the weather service warned in a statement.

The NWS also said today's unseasonably high temperatures will hover around record territory, with highs expected to reach around 100 degrees Fahrenheit in downtown L.A., Long Beach, Woodland Hills and Yorba Linda. "The unseasonably hot conditions during the daytime will likely result in an increased risk of heat-related illnesses, especially for the homeless, elderly, infants, and anyone participating in outdoor activities," warned an
NWS statement.

It recommended drinking plenty of water, wearing lightweight, light-colored clothing, making use of air conditioning, and never leaving people or pets in cars parked in the heat.

The NWS forecast sunny skies today and highs of 84 in Palmdale; 85 in Lancaster; 87 on Mount Wilson; 89 in Avalon; 93 in Saugus; 94 in Pasadena and at LAX; 96 in Burbank; 97 in San Gabriel; 98 in downtown L.A.; and 99 in Long Beach and Woodland Hills. The normal high at this time of the year is 76 in downtown L.A. and around 80 in the San Fernando Valley.

Sunny skies were also forecast in Orange County, along with highs of 82 in Newport Beach; 83 in San Clemente; 88 in Laguna Beach; 96 in Mission Viejo; 97 in Irvine; 98 in Anaheim; 99 in Fullerton; and 101 in Yorba Linda.

NWS meteorologist Andrew Rorke attributed the unseasonable heat to the warm Santa Ana winds and to a large high-pressure system parked over the region.

Friday's temperatures will be a few degrees lower at the start of a cooling trend. Saturday's will be several degrees lower.

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