Trees are in bloom across Studio City today, convinced that spring has arrived nearly two months ahead of schedule. I can’t say I disagree with them! To say this has been a mild winter would be a radical understatement! With temperatures flirting with record highs and only a fraction of the rainfall we normally get, I’m starting to wonder myself if winter gave up and conceded to spring.
That trend will continue this weekend, as surface high pressure builds into the Great Basin. Winds are forecast to pick up out of the Northwest bringing dry, warm air into the Los Angeles area. As winds increase and humidity figures drop, fire danger will once again be a concern across the San Fernando Valley.
Winds have already started to pick up across the area, with gusts measured to 17 mph here in Studio City. Winds will continue to increase Friday into Saturday with the strongest velocities in the mountain areas where we will likely see gusts in the 60 to 70 mph range, according to a statement issued by the National Weather Service.
Here in the San Fernando Valley, the area of concern will be the western portions of the valley and the passes and canyons, where forecasters are warning of gusts approaching 50 mph. Here in the Studio City area, we’re mostly sheltered from the strongest winds, however we could still see sustained wind speeds near 30 mph with gusts to 40 possible.
In its statement, the National Weather Service pointed out that driving in windy conditions will be difficult, especially for high-profile vehicles. The interstate 5 corridor through the Newhall Pass is especially notorious for difficult driving conditions due to high winds, so be sure to use caution if driving that direction this weekend.
Officials are also warning of an increased fire danger across the area. The combination of high winds, low humidity values, and dry brush has been known to turn the hillsides of the San Fernando Valley into a tinderbox during red flag conditions, and that’s what we face this weekend. A red flag warning has been posted by authorities, warning that “if fire ignition occurs there could be rapid spread of fire that could lead to a threat to life and property.”
Consequently, those of you who live in red flag zones may see street parking restricted as fire officials put red flag procedures into effect.
Once the winds die down, the extended outlook looks much the same. Sunny, dry, and warm as far as the models can see.