Winter in Southern California is suffering a major identity crisis this week under the influence of massive high pressure and Santa Ana winds.
After several weak, rainy systems closed out 2012, a very dry pattern has been in place for the first several weeks of the year. We haven't seen rain in 11 days, after a mediocre 3.53 inches fell over the last half of the previous year.
Very cold arctic air has been in place over the past week, driving temperatures to record lows in some places. Studio City Weather Center recorded lows in the low to mid 30s most nights, with temperatures falling below freezing early Sunday morning.
That cold arctic air mass has shifted east and is now centered over Utah. A tight pressure gradient over the area has set up some winds, and as of the time of this blog posting, Wind Advisories are in effect for the San Fernando Valley until 10PM Thursday, although Studio City seems to be mainly sheltered from this round of breezy conditions.
The Santa Ana winds are forecast to stick around for a few days, at varying degrees of intensity, and mostly in the wind-prone areas of Los Angeles. Here in Studio City we'll remain mostly sheltered, although we might see a few breezy periods as the wind direction shifts. We should see those winds finally die down early next week.
The forecast for the next seven days looks like a broken record. Daytime highs in the upper 70s, and overnight lows hovering in the mid 40s. The only wrinkle in this otherwise-flawless weather forecast is some heightened fire weather concerns this weekend due to the dry and breezy conditions.
There might be some cooling Tuesday and Wednesday as a low pressure trough passes by to the north, but no rain concerns - at least at this point.