High Wind and Red Flag Alerts In Effect Wednesday through Friday
Our extended summer is almost over, but not quite.
Wednesday's partly cloudy skies and high temperature in the upper 70s will give way to cooler temperatures in the 50s and 60s in the Santa Clarita Valley through the weekend, with strong northeast winds 40-55 mph and gusts as high as 60 mph, according to the latest National Weather Service forecast.
The higher winds have also prompted the service to declare an urgent high wind warning from Wednesday night to Friday at 3 p.m. A red flag fire warning will also be in effect from Wednesday night through 6 p.m. Friday because the winds will also help maintain low humidity readings in the 15 percent range, especially over the valleys and the coast.
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It's a Santa Ana event, but because a cold low pressure system is moving into Southern California, temperatures are cooler than a typical Santa Ana condition. At the same time, strong surface high pressure will develop over California's Great Basin. The two systems will align to generate very strong offshore winds starting later Wednesday night and lasting till Friday afternoon, according to the service.
Although the winds should weaken by Friday night, the service notes the potential exists for additional rounds of gusty northeast winds over the weekend.
The strong winds will be capable of downing trees and power lines, creating flying debris and making driving hazardous, especially for high-profile vehicles.
Residents are urged to take precautions before the winds reach peak velocity, by closing windows and securing outdoor objects such as lawn furniture.
If a fire breaks out during the red flag warning period, the combination of low humidity and high winds make conditions favorable for rapid fire growth and extreme fire behavior, the service advises.