After a brief spell of warm weather this week, temperatures in Southern California are expected to drop this weekend and should stay that way for the next seven to 10 days, forecasters said.
Saturday is perhaps the coolest day of the period, with temperatures in the 60s as clouds blanket much of Los Angeles County, perhaps bringing a light morning drizzle. Sunny skies are expected to return on Sunday, with temperatures ranging from the 60s to the 70s.
“It’s probably what most people traditionally think of as fall weather,” said Ryan Kittell, a National Weather Service meteorologist at Oxnard.
But like the fall weather in Southern California, Kittell said tradition here means dry Santa Ana winds, which are expected to blow Sunday evening and Monday, sapping moisture in the air and increasing the risk of fire in the valley and mountainous areas.
The Santa Anas, which typically blow most aggressively during the fall months, are known to fuel some of California’s largest fires as strong dry gusts blow against the dried summer brush sitting like tinder . The Woolsey Fire, the most destructive blaze in Los Angeles County, fed on Santa Ana winds in the fall of 2018.
Sunday evening winds could be between 30 mph and 45 mph in areas such as the San Fernando, Santa Clarita and San Gabriel Valleys and in the Santa Monica and San Gabriel Mountains, Kittell said.
Similar dry gusty winds are expected to blow through northern California this weekend, prompting Pacific Gas & Electric Co. to announce it may cut power to more than 1,000 customers to reduce the risk of forest fires.
Elsewhere in San Bernardino and Riverside counties, Santa Ana winds are expected to be more benign, gusting to speeds of 25 mph to 35 mph, said Adam Roser, meteorologist with the San Diego office of the National Weather Service. .
Recent storms in the Inland Empire, which forced evacuations for mudslides and debris flows in burn areas, should spare the region any critical fire hazard, Roser said.
Once the Santa Anas leave on Tuesday, humidity is expected to return to the air, accompanied by mild temperatures with lows in the 60s and highs in the early 80s, experts said.
“No real chance of getting even close to 90 anywhere next week,” Kittell said.
California Daily Newspapers