National Weather Service: Strong Santa Ana winds cause wildfire threat

San Diego Sunset

Mindy Nguyen/Mai Blossom

Forecasters expect low humidity and gusty Santa Ana winds to create the risk of dangerous fire conditions this weekend.

Warm temperatures and strong Santa Ana winds continue across Los Angeles and Ventura counties, reports the National Weather Service. A red flag warning has been issued through Sunday evening, with gusts expected to reach as high as 80 mph. 

The National Weather Service is calling this weekend's forecast the highest wildfire threat we have seen in five years. 

RELATED: Clarita Fire: Small brush fire causes traffic jam on 5 Freeway

Gusty offshore winds and low humidity are also expected for the mountains of Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties. 

The National Weather services writes: 

Single digit humidities will be commonplace through Sunday with very minimal overnight recover. The Santa Ana winds will diminish tonight through Sunday morning and transition to onshore Sunday afternoon. Chaotic winds are expected and relative humidity will recover during the transition and critical fire conditions will persist. 

Temperatures are expected to range from 10 to 20 degrees above normal for coastal areas Saturday and inland areas Sunday. Winds won't be as strong at lower elevations. 

According to the National Weather Service, you can expect: 

  • Northeast winds 20 to 35 mph with gusts up to 50 mph from Malibu to the Hollywood hills — strongest below passes and canyons.
  • Isolated gusts up to 60 mph in the foothills.
  • Winds to be much weaker across most of the Los Angeles Basin. 

Winds this strong make it difficult to drive high profile vehicles, especially around mountain passes, advises the National Weather Service. They also ask to be alert for downed trees and power lines.

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