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Santa Ana winds bring red-flag warning for mountain areas

October 26, 2011 |  7:55 am

Photo: Santa Ana wind pattern. Credit: National Weather Service
The Santa Ana winds are back and creating wildfire conditions in the mountain areas of Los Angeles and Ventura, causing the National Weather Service to issue a red-flag warning for this afternoon.  

Gusty winds and low relative humidity are crucial for fires, said Jayme Laber, a hydrologist for the weather service, but he noted that red-flag warnings, including the one beginning at 3 p.m. today, are simply meant to alert fire agencies and do not indicate danger.   

"Everything is normal," he said. "Just be on alert, and if you see smoke, report it."   

The same offshore winds that create potential fire conditions will decrease the marine layer, Laber said. Those winds will also leave conditions windy in the mountains and breezy in the valleys, he said.

On the coast, temperatures are forecast to reach the upper 60s to low 70s, while inland temperatures in the low-to-mid 70s are expected.  

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-- Matt Stevens

Image: An illustration of the Santa Ana wind pattern and the conditions it could produce. Credit: National Weather Service

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