LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Officials have issued a red flag warning as strong offshore winds and warmer temperatures head into the Southland Wednesday.
The National Weather Service warns that those conditions, when mixed with the area’s low relative humidity, can create perfect conditions for wildfires. The conditions are reportedly caused by a large high-pressure system over the region.
The warning was put in effect from 4 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Fire Department may restrict parking along narrow hillside roads adjacent open area to ensure fire engines can get to any brush fires. Closures have not yet been announced.
High temperatures Wednesday could top 80 degrees, according to the NWS. If the weather were to set a record high in downtown Los Angeles for Dec. 25, the thermostat would have to read higher than 80 degrees, NWS meteorologist Joe Sirard said.
“We have a chance to beat that,” he said, adding that the highs in South Florida were forecast to rival those in Southern California. Highs in coastal south Texas were forecast to top out in the upper 70s.
Other area record highs for Christmas Day include 84 degrees in Woodland Hills, set in 1985; 84 degrees at UCLA, set in 1950; and 83 degrees at LAX,
set in 1942.
Dry conditions should persist Thursday, but the winds should weaken, though strong gusts will still be possible below canyons and passes.
Temperatures will remain well above normal, ranging from the mid 70s at the beaches to about 80 degrees inland.
Los Angeles is on the verge of a drought and on track to have its driest winter ever, with only about a quarter of seasonal average falling so far.
While the Southland enjoys balmy Christmas weather much of the Midwest and New England are suffering through biting cold condition, where utility crews were scrambling to restore electrical service to hundreds of thousands of homes.
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