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Climate and Environment

LA Says Goodbye to Cool Weather. Hello, 20 Degree Temperature Rise And Hot, Dry Winds

Thermometer shows the temperature at about 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
Temperatures are forecast to climb into the 90s in much of the region in next few days
(Magdevski/Getty Images
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Say goodbye to the lovely grey skies and crisp, cool fall air. The Santa Ana winds have arrived.

Starting Wednesday, expect temperatures to climb as much as 20 degrees in the Valleys and Inland areas, and as much as 15 degrees along the coast, according to the National Weather Service.

The Santa Ana event is expected to peak on Thursday, with 25 to 40 mph wind gusts expected.

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The forecast temperature swing is striking.

So what changed?

The cool conditions we’ve been blessed with were a result of a few things:

  • An onshore wind flow that let our marine layer push deep inland.
  • And smoke from Northern California fires, high aloft in the atmosphere.

Both of those factors reflected the sun’s energy away from the earth’s surface, keeping things not as hot.

As the winds pick up, keep in mind that stronger winds can make fires difficult to stop, so be on the lookout for any new blazes that pop up.

And Carol Smith, a NWS meteorologist, warns that there’s a possibility we’ll see critical fire conditions briefly on Thursday and Friday.

“Depending on how things evolve, it’s not out of the question that we’ll have a red flag,” she said, “but at this point we do not have one.”

Temperatures will reach the mid 90s in the Valleys this weekend. It’s unclear when we’ll get another break from the heat.

What do you want to know about fires, earthquakes, climate change or any science-related topics?
Jacob Margolis helps Southern Californians understand the science shaping our imperfect paradise and gets us prepared for what’s next.