Warm and dry sundowner winds were blowing across coastal areas from Santa Barbara to Los Angeles counties Wednesday night, creating critical brush fire conditions, according to the National Weather Service.
The northerly winds were funneling through canyon areas and creating “down slope warming” along the coast, said David Gomberg, a meteorologist with the weather service’s Oxnard office.
He said the winds were expected to blow until about 3 a.m. Thursday, creating “brief critical fire conditions.”
In Santa Barbara, the temperature was 82 degrees at 8 p.m., the weather service said.
The temperature at Leo Carrillo State Beach in northern Los Angeles County was 85 degrees. Winds were gusting at 35 mph and the relative humidity was 10%, according to the weather service. The temperature at Santa Monica Pier was 84 degrees.
“It’s all where the winds are surfacing. That’s what heats up the area,” Gomberg told The Times.
Inland temperatures were in the 70s and winds were light or calm.
Stuart Seto, a weather specialist with the weather service, said sundowner winds are more northerly than Santa Ana winds, which blow out of the northeast.
The sundowners were being caused by high pressure off the Northern California coast. Wind gusts up 45 mph were expected.