LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Santa Ana winds were expected to weaken today, but they'll still be potent enough to raise the risk of wildfires, keeping much of the Southland under red flag warnings.
A red flag warning will be in effect until 10 p.m. Saturday in the Los Angeles County mountains, Santa Monica Mountains Recreational area, Angeles National Forest and the Santa Clarita Valley. The San Fernando and San Gabriel Valleys, along with the coastal area stretching into downtown Los Angeles, will be under a red flag warning until 6 p.m. Friday.
“Winds are decreasing today, however, it will remain gusty in the mountains and foothills with gusts of 35 to 45 mph,'' according to the National Weather Service. “Lower elevations will see less wind with some gusts to 25 to 35 mph at times through (Friday) morning. The air mass remains extremely dry with minimum humidities in the single digits to lower teens expected across most valleys and mountains through Saturday. Poor overnight recoveries of only 10-20 percent will be likely for windier areas of the fire district. Elevated to brief critical fire weather conditions will persist after Saturday due to continued dry air and locally gusty offshore winds.''
Although the red flag warnings are all expected to be expired by Saturday night, forecasters warned that another Santa Ana wind event could hit the region on Monday and Tuesday, “possibly continuing into Wednesday or Thursday.''
In Orange County, a red flag warning will be in effect for inland areas and the Santa Ana Mountains until 10 p.m. Saturday.
The wind event again prompted Southern California Edison to implement its Public Safety Power Shutoffs, in which electricity is cut in particularly wind-affected areas to prevent equipment damage that could spark fires.
Thousands of customers in Los Angeles and Orange counties had their power cut off on Wednesday and Thursday, but the numbers decreased dramatically Friday morning as winds slowly weakened. As of mid-morning Friday, only 194 customers in Los Angeles County and 842 in Orange County were reported by SCE to be without power under the program. Another 4,777 customers in Los Angeles County were being considered for shutoffs.
Photo: Getty Images