As Jack Black said in “The Holiday,” “Legend has it when the Santa Anas blow, all bets are off. Anything can happen.” The National Weather Service has issued a wind advisory and Red Flag Warning alongside Southern California Edison’s warning of potential Public Safety Power Shutoffs for the Santa Clarita Valley in anticipation of high winds.
The wind advisory began Wednesday morning and is in effect until Thursday at 11 a.m. The Red Flag Warning is in effect from Thursday at 3 a.m. until 6 p.m.
“We have an increasing offshore pressure gradient,” said Joe Sirard, meteorologist with the NWS, “so that means this high pressure builds into the Great Basin and we have northeast winds flow out of that high-pressure system to relatively low pressure along the California coast and so we call those Santa Ana winds.”
The upcoming forecast for the SCV is as follows:
- Wednesday: A high nearing 71, breezy, a northeast wind blowing at around 20 mph and wind gusts as high as 30 mph.
- Wednesday night: A low around 44, north northeast winds blowing at 10 to 15 mph and wind gusts as high as 20 mph.
- Thursday: A high nearing 72, sunny, breezy, a northeast wind blowing at 20 to 25 mph and wind gusts as high as 35 mph.
- Thursday night: A low around 42, partly cloudy, a north northeast wind blowing at 10 to 15 mph and wind gusts as high as 25 mph.
- Friday: A high nearing 75, mostly sunny and a northeast wind blowing 5 to 10 mph.
- Friday night: A low around 45 and mostly clear.
The NWS has advised the community to use extra caution when driving, especially when operating a high-profile vehicle, and secure any outdoor objects.
“Humidity levels will gradually lower as well,” wrote the NWS in the Red Flag Warning. “As a result, the chance of reaching six or more hours of low humidity and gusty wind combinations is 20% for (Wednesday) but 70% for (Wednesday night) through Thursday. The previous Fire Weather Watch has therefore been upgraded to a Red Flag Warning for the same time period and areas.”
Sirard said that a Red Flag Warning allows for the community to be prepared.
“Red Flag Warning means that if a wildfire were to break out, it could have extreme fire behavior and that means rapid fire spread,” said Sirard.
Due to the forecast, SoCal Edison has alerted residents in Newhall, Canyon Country and Agua Dulce about potential Public Safety Power Shutoffs.
To view if you are in an area that could be affected by a Public Safety Power Shutoff, visit tinyurl.com/2w6d6v8m.
The alerts detail “increased fire risk conditions” expected in the area highlighted from Wednesday morning until Thursday at 3 p.m.
“We don’t turn off the power until all the local conditions are met, so we don’t turn off the power based on the forecast, we turn off the power if necessary based on very local conditions,” said Jeff Monford, a spokesman for SoCal Edison.
In the case a power shutoff is implemented, SoCal Edison is prepared to send community crew vehicles out and set up resource centers that will provide essential customer service, resources, programs and customer resiliency kits.
Residence Inn, 25320 The Old Road, has been listed as a resource center at the time of this publication.
Power will be restored to customers as soon as it is safe to do, the weather conditions cease, and crews inspect power lines and determine it is safe to re-energize the area.
“We recognize that any outage is a considerable burden and so we don’t turn off unless safety calls for it,” said Monford.