Gusty winds expected to bring high heat, fire conditions to SCV

FILE PHOTO: A bee flies away from a trio of sunflowers in a garden on Walnut Street in Newhall on Thursday, August 24, 2017. Katharine Lotze/The Signal
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Strong winds and low humidities are expected to bring high temperatures and fire dangers to the Santa Clarita Valley throughout the weekend and early next week, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).

“The most critical fire weather conditions appear to be Monday through Tuesday, when there will be a combination of Santa Ana winds gusting to between 35 and 50 mph, record breaking triple digit heat, humidities lowering into the single digits and very dry fuels,” a NWS statement read.

On Friday, the NWS issued three weather warnings for the Santa Clarita Valley area that included a Wind Advisory, an Excessive Heat Watch and a Fire Weather Watch.

The Wind Advisory is expected to remain in effect until Friday at 10 p.m. with north northwest winds at 5 to 15 miles per hour (mph) with gusts as high as 30 mph.

“Gusty winds will make driving difficult, especially for high profile vehicles,” the NWS said.  “This includes Interstate 5 and Highways 14 and 126.”

According to forecasts, winds are expected to be around 15 mph with gusts as high as 25 to 30 mph Saturday and Sunday before conditions turn to “breezy” Monday and Tuesday.

These strong pressure winds and Santa Anna winds are also expected to usher in record-breaking temperatures throughout Southern California, as temperatures reach 100 degrees.

The forecasted high temperatures caused NWS to issue an Excessive Heat Watch for the area from Monday at 10 a.m. to Tuesday at 8 p.m.

In the Santa Clarita Valley, temperatures are forecasted to reach a high of 91 degrees Monday, a high of 93 degrees Tuesday and a high of nearly 100 degrees Wednesday.

These high temperatures, gusty winds and low humidities—between 10 to 15 percent Sunday and between 6 and 12 percent Monday and Tuesday—are also expected to create critical fire weather conditions in areas of Southwest California.

NWS’ Fire Weather Watch is expected to remain in effect from Sunday at 8 a.m. to Tuesday at 6 p.m. as the winds, high temperatures, low humidities and dry conditions continue.

“In addition, very warm and dry conditions during the overnight hours in the mountains, foothills and wind prone areas will add to this fire weather threat during this long duration of dangerous fire weather conditions,” the NWS said.

This Fire Weather Watch means that critical fire conditions are forecasted to occur and that there is a potential for rapid fire growth and extreme fire behavior if ignition occurs.

To prepare for the extreme weather, the NWS is recommending that residents reduce outdoor work during the daytime hours, take breaks in shaded air conditioned environments, look out for signs any symptoms of heat illness, wear light weight and loose-fitting clothing and drink plenty of water.

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