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Climate and Environment

Santa Ana Winds Are Going To Heat Up LA And Ventura Counties (AKA Fire Weather)

An image of a palm tree blowing shot from ground level looking up at the fronds
Santa Ana winds are again headed for Southern California.
(Photo by Meduana
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The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag warning for Friday morning through Saturday night as strong, dry winds are expected to hit the area.

This is a typical Santa Ana event, with winds expected in the 30 to 40 mph range in most spots, though they could reach up to 50 mph in places such as the Santa Clarita Valley, as well as the western portion of the L.A. mountains down into Ventura County.

Mercifully, the winds aren’t expected to hit Santa Barbara County, where the Alisal Fire is still raging. As of Thursday morning it was only 5% contained.

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Temperatures will also climb to the mid 80s and 90s both inland and along the coast on Friday and Saturday, before cooling off considerably on Sunday as an onshore flow returns, bringing with it a marine layer.

As is always the case, these types of winds can make fires all but unstoppable, pushing flames quickly through long desiccated landscapes. Santa Ana season runs until April, so anticipate bad fires until we get some rain.

If you live in an area prone to fires, now’s always a good time to get your go-bag ready, as you may have to evacuate with little notice in the middle of the night.

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.