The National Weather Service was warning of an increased fire danger in Southern California Thursday as a combination of Santa Ana winds, unseasonably warm temperatures and single-digit humidity were expected to hit the region.
“Moderate to strong” Santa Ana’s coming from the northeast were expected to be most potent during the mid-morning to early afternoon hours, according to the weather service.
The gusts were forecast to reach speeds of up to 55 mph over Los Angeles County mountains, while valley areas in Ventura and L.A. counties could see surges between 45 and 55 mph.
Winds of up to 40 mph were expected to hit the coastal area of Ventura and in L.A. County from Malibu to the Hollywood Hills, especially in and around mountain passes and canyons, federal forecasters said.
In parts of Orange and San Diego counties, winds with speeds between 60 to 80 mph would be “likely,” according to the weather service.
The strong Santa Ana’s would be felt mostly through canyons and passes in the region, while coastal regions were expected to see speeds of 30 mph.
In anticipation of the potentially damaging and dangerous gusts, a high wind warning was issued by the weather service through Friday.
At the same time, temperatures were also expected to increase to “well above seasonal normal values” in coastal and valley areas, forecasters warned.
Daytime highs would range from near 80 degrees to the uppers 80s along the coast and in the valleys of L.A. and Ventura counties.
Humidity in parts of Southern California would lower to the teens and single digits, which could bring increased fire danger to the region, forecasters warned.
Anyone smoking or camping was encouraged to be extra cautious when putting out a cigarette or extinguishing a campfire.