A high risk of wildfire hung over much of Southern California today as a result of high winds and low humidity, forecasters said.
A red flag warning issued by the National Weather Service was scheduled to be in effect in much of Los Angeles and Ventura counties and in Orange County until 8 tonight, but the NWS warned it could be extended into Tuesday.
The NWS said in a statement that the “moderate Santa Ana wind event” being experienced by the region is the result of “strong surface high pressure over the great basin combined with moderate and cold northerly winds aloft.”
NWS forecasters also said they expect humidity levels to remain very low — generally between 5 and 10 percent, but as low as 3 percent in some areas.
In Los Angeles County, the red flag warning specifically applied to both the San Gabriel and Santa Monica mountains, the Angeles National Forest, the San Fernando and Santa Clarita valleys, and the so-called coastal zone, which takes in beach cities, the Hollywood Hills and metropolitan Los Angeles, including downtown.
In Ventura County, the warning was for the Los Padres National Forest and the county’s coastal and interior valleys.
The winds were expected to be weaker today than on Sunday, blowing at speeds ranging from 15 to 40 miles per hour and gusting at up to 50 mph, according to the NWS.
Overnight, the NWS recorded gusts of 46 miles per hour in the San Gabriels, 41 mph in Malibu and 37 mph in the Newhall Pass.
A wind advisory will be in effect until 3 this afternoon in the San Fernando and Santa Clarita valleys, the San Gabriel and Santa Monica mountains, and the L.A. coastal zone, meaning the beach and metropolitan L.A. The Hollywood Freeway and Pacific Coast Highway could be affected by today’s winds, according to NWS forecasters.
The NWS forecast temperature highs today of 61 degrees Fahrenheit on Mount Wilson; 63 in Palmdale and Lancaster; 69 in Saugus; 71 in San Clemente; 73 in Avalon; 74 in Laguna Beach; 76 in Woodland Hills and at LAX; 77 in Pasadena, Burbank, Newport Beach and Yorba Linda; 78 in San Gabriel, Fullerton and Mission Viejo; 79 in Long Beach and downtown L.A.; 80 in Anaheim; and 81 in Irvine.
Tuesday’s temperatures will be a few degrees higher, but they’ll begin to climb down Wednesday and fall more sharply Thursday.