Following days of cooler fall temperatures, the Southland is headed for summer-like conditions that will carry an elevated wildfire risk to the region starting Friday.
Th hotter weather is forecast just days after some areas reached their daily record lows. In Palmdale, temperatures on Wednesday plummeted to 35 degrees, breaking the day’s record low that was set in 1956, the National Weather Service reported.
Other areas that saw record low temperatures for an Oct. 13 included Thermal in Riverside County (41 degrees), and Ramona (33 degrees), Vista (43 degrees) and Campos (28 degrees) in San Diego County, NWS data showed.
But weather conditions are about to change drastically.
A red flag warning will be in place across much of Los Angeles and Ventura counties starting Friday morning due to a potentially dangerous combination of moderate Santa Ana winds and warm, dry conditions, according to the weather service.
Between Friday and Saturday evening — when the red flag warning is scheduled to expire — forecasters predict moderate northeast winds of 30 to 45 mph in the region, with isolated gusts of up to 55 mph. Winds are expected to be strongest from Friday morning to afternoon.
At the same time, humidity will plunge to the low teens and single-digits, while temperatures will reach highs into the 80s and low-90s.
Should a fire spark during the period of gusty Santa Ana winds and low relative humidity, any flames would have the potential for a rapid rate of spread and extreme behavior, the weather service warned.
Firefighters are already battling one wind-driven blaze that ignited earlier this week in the Santa Ynez Mountains west of Santa Barbara.
The Alisal Fire has charred nearly 17,000 acres since erupting Monday afternoon, according to the federal Inciweb site.
The wildfire, which continues to threaten dozens of homes, ranches and other buildings, has prompted evacuation orders and forced officials to close the 101 Freeway between Highway 1 and Winchester Canyon Road/Cathedral Oaks.
As of Thursday afternoon, the blaze was just 5% contained.