LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Twelve straight days of red flag warnings in Los Angeles County came to an end this morning, but the risk of wildfire isn't over yet.
The warnings were first issued early last week because of gusty Santa Ana winds combined with very low humidity levels, then extended every day beginning Thursday of last week. National Weather Service forecasters said that, even though no records are kept, they are certain that never before has there been so long a string of red flag warnings in Southern California.
Red flag warnings in Los Angeles County expired at 10 this morning in the San Gabriel and Santa Monica mountains, the Angeles National Forest, the Santa Clarita and San Fernando valleys, beach cities, metropolitan Los Angeles, Downtown L.A., and the Hollywood Hills. A red flag warning will be in effect from 2 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday in Santa Barbara County.
A red flag warning will also be in effect from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday in Orange County coastal areas, where winds ranging from 15 to 25 mph are forecast, with gusts up to 35 mph, and humidity levels hovering around 15 percent.
Northeast winds of 15 to 30 mph have been blowing in L.A. County areas, gusting at up to 55 mph amid humidity levels as low as 4-10 percent, but the winds diminished Friday morning and wind advisories were allowed to expire. But the winds are expected to pick up again Saturday night, according to the NWS, which forecast a slight improvement in humidity levels to between 10-15 percent Sunday.
From late Saturday through Sunday evening, a fire weather watch, which is a notch less severe than a red flag warning, will be in force in the areas now under red flag warning, except the L.A. coastal zone that stretches from beach cities to the Hollywood Hills.
The NWS forecast sunny skies in Los Angeles County today and highs of 70 degrees in Lancaster; 71 in Palmdale; 73 on Mount Wilson; 75 in Avalon; 79 at LAX; 80 in Downtown L.A., Long Beach and San Gabriel; 82 in Burbank and Pasadena; and 83 in Woodland Hills. Temperatures will dip substantially Saturday -- by up to 11 degrees on Mount Wilson.
Sunny skies were also forecast in Orange County, along with highs of 71 in Lagana Beach and San Clemente; 73 in Newport Beach; 80 in Mission Viejo; and 81 in Yorba Linda, Fullerton, Irvine and Anaheim, where Saturday's high is expected to be 11 degrees lower than today's.