Red Flag Warnings in Southern California

The winds are going to be breezy to very strong, off and on through Thursday

Hot-Dry-Windy forecast for Southern California
Hot-Dry-Windy forecast for Southern California, January 16, 2021

After record high temperatures were set Friday in multiple Southern California locations, Red Flag Warnings continue on Saturday. Residents in Santa Clarita can expect the temperature to reach 83 degrees today, with the humidity in the low teens, and 22 mph winds out of the northeast gusting to 33. Strong winds will continue through Saturday night but will taper off a bit Sunday, 18 to 22 mph gusting out of the northeast at 28 to 34.

Monday afternoon a strong offshore pressure gradient will begin growing, bringing very strong winds out of the northeast again, with the humidity in the low 20s and teens.

Wind speeds next week:

  • Monday afternoon: 24 mph gusting at 32
  • Monday night: 25 to 47 gusting at 37 to 62
  • Tuesday: 47 gusting at 63
  • Tuesday night: 29 to 41 gusting at 38 to 54
  • Wednesday: 18 to 26 gusting at 24 to 34

Record high temperatures in Southern California

At least two large air tankers, 01 and 02, were flown in from Missoula on Friday to be available if needed by firefighters. Two Fire Integrated Real-Time Intelligence System (FIRIS) mapping aircraft are also on standby.

Fire Integrated Real-Time Intelligence System (FIRIS) aircraft
Fire Integrated Real-Time Intelligence System (FIRIS) aircraft.
Red Flag Warnings, January 16, 2021
Red Flag Warnings, January 16, 2021. National Weather Service.
Red Flag or near Red Flag conditions
Weather stations in Southern California experiencing Red Flag or near Red Flag conditions, January 16, 2021. National Weather Service.
Santa Clarita Wx forecast, January 16, 2021
Santa Clarita, California Wx forecast, January 16, 2021. National Weather Service.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

2 thoughts on “Red Flag Warnings in Southern California”

  1. Hey Dan,
    I’m a wildland firefighter who was asked if I was willing to accept an assignment. We do love a good fire, so I said yes. Then I started looking at all the indices that we pay attention to for wildfires. When ever you see a difference of 20 Degrees between dry temp and dew point temp you have considerable drying going on (Jack Cohen). If you see a trend where those two numbers falls below 20 degrees of separation you will know your in moisture recovery mode. Add the wind and that rate accelerates. Sunday has some moisture recovery potential but might be negated by the wind drying effect. Then till Tuesday night it become daunting to consider any direct attack on a fire. Wednesday moisture should reach Southern CA. The longer the high pressure system sits off the coast the greater that chance for moisture recovery. Soon as that ridge moves in land your back to a drying trend. With any luck the artic blast coming out of the Bearing Strait will help produce moisture to most of the Pacific coast.

    Who knows the intent of the weather gods when you toss in the ash from a volcanic event. Fire cycles run in five year increments, sadly your asking your question at the start of a peak year in that cycle. But the best time to really answer your question is at the end of the season, past that we are making educated guesses about seasons.

  2. is it just my observation…or are they in trouble… from looking at the wildfire cameras it does not appear that anyone has much snow cover…on the whole west coast.?


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