Southern California’s temperatures began to climb Friday and will continue to rise over the weekend, reducing humidity levels that could affect fire conditions across the region.
Los Angeles and Orange County hit the mid-80s on Friday afternoon, while Riverside and San Bernardino counties recorded temperatures of 97 and 96 degrees, respectively. The downward trend of humidity in the 20s – and even less inland – is likely to continue through Saturday, but is expected to recover from Sunday.
A wind advisory was issued by the National Weather Service in the mountains of Los Angeles County from 10 p.m. to 9 a.m. Saturday, with gusts of 20 to 30 mph in the valleys and 40 to 45 mph in the mountains. .
On Wednesday, strong winds fueled the spread of a brush fire in Laguna Niguel that destroyed homes worth $20 million and damaged 11 others. As of Friday morning, the coastal fire was 25% under control and persisted across 200 acres.
Meteorologist Philippe Gonsalves said winds were expected to slow in the coastal fire area, but low humidity levels could be a concern for firefighting efforts.
“Weather conditions don’t always affect the behavior of fires, but do make it difficult for firefighters to stop them,” Gonsalves said, adding that “low humidity means high activity of fires.”
Gonsalves said the humidity in the area around the fire dropped to about 20% on Friday and will remain in that range on Saturday, but will begin to recover to about 40 to 50% by Sunday.
Temperatures were expected to peak on Saturday, and then begin to cool into the high 70s along the coast on Sunday and the mid 80s inland.