A strong ridge of high pressure settled over Southern California on Tuesday, pushing temperatures into the 90s, causing powerful Santa Ana winds and increasing the fire danger in parched wildland areas.
The unseasonably warm weather is expected to last for the next several days, and the high winds will increase in strength through Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service.
The agency said damaging wind gusts from 60 to 75 mph are expected in Los Angeles County mountain areas and the Santa Clarita Valley.
In Orange County, a record daily high was set Tuesday in Newport Beach, which topped out at 92 degrees. That broke a record of 86 set in 1921. Laguna Beach reached a high of 95, topping by three degrees a record set in 1981, the Weather Service said.
The high reached 95 at Long Beach Airport and 92 at Santa Monica Airport. About three miles away at the Santa Monica Pier, the temperature was 79. Downtown Los Angeles topped out at 92 degrees, and Woodland Hills hit 90.
The Weather Service issued red flag fire warnings signaling critical fire danger for mountain and valley areas from Los Angeles County to San Diego County. Temperatures are expected to be in the 80s and 90s, and relative humidity could drop to 5%, the agency said.