Another round of Santa Ana winds blowing into Southern California
Another round of Santa Ana winds was slated to arrive in the Southland on Tuesday, days after blustery gusts toppled trees and power lines and stoked brush fires in Sonoma County and Big Sur.
The winds were expected to move into mountain and valley areas of Los Angeles, Ventura and Orange counties and the Inland Empire late Tuesday afternoon and dissipate around midmorning Wednesday, the National Weather Service said.
In the Los Angeles area, the strongest winds, at about 50 mph, will blow through the mountains, with slightly weaker gusts expected across the coasts and valleys.
The winds won’t be as powerful as those that struck the area Friday but will still “bring the potential for hazardous driving conditions for high-profile vehicles and downed trees and power lines,” the weather service said.
Roadways that could be affected include portions of state Highway 33; the 101, 23, 118 and 5 freeways; and canyon roadways such as Kanan, Malibu Canyon and Decker roads and Topanga Canyon Boulevard, officials said.
Gusty offshore winds took down trees and power lines and whipped up brush fires in Big Sur and Sonoma County overnight into Saturday.
Santa Ana winds are downslope winds that form as high pressure over inland areas gives way to low pressure toward the coast, explained Mike Wofford, a meteorologist with the weather service in Oxnard.
“It’s like pushing a balloon — it just causes the wind to accelerate through the mountain pass,” he said. “They are most common in fall and spring but can strike year-round.”
The Santa Ana wind event on Friday and Saturday included gusts of nearly 90 mph in the Los Angeles area and caused power outages for about 70,000 Southern California Edison customers. The winds sent trees crashing onto houses in Monrovia, Ontario and Upland and blocked a portion of Pacific Coast Highway.
The winds also fanned unusual January brush fires. The Colorado fire near Big Sur sparked Friday night and has grown to about 700 acres. It was 50% contained Tuesday night, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. Embers from a pile burning operation meant to clear combustible fuels ignited the blaze, Cal Fire announced Tuesday.
In Sonoma County, a 96-mph gust east of Geyser Peak early Saturday stoked a brush fire that grew to about 1.4 acres but was soon contained.
Wind advisories prompted by the incoming Santa Anas will expire at 10 a.m. Wednesday in Orange, San Bernardino and Riverside counties and other parts of the Inland Empire, and at noon in Los Angeles and Ventura counties.
High surf advisories have been issued from the Central Coast to San Diego County, including Santa Catalina and the Santa Barbara Islands, through Wednesday evening. Officials are warning of elevated surf of up to six or seven feet and strong rip currents.
The Santa Anas will meet with cooler temperatures and dense fog in some coastal areas, giving way to warmer temperatures Thursday and Friday, officials said.
Yet another, stronger Santa Ana event could arrive Friday, Wofford said.
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