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Santa Ana winds to whip across Southern California late this week

A week of relatively dry weather along the West Coast will be topped off with a Southern California Santa Ana wind event at the end of the week.

“An area of high pressure will strengthen over southern Idaho and northern Nevada late on Thursday and Friday,” said AccuWeather Meteorologist Brett Rossio.

This atmospheric setup is the first sign that Santa Ana winds could build into Southern California.

“A strong northeasterly wind will develop as high pressure to the northeast strengthens,” said Rossio.

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As the winds descend off the higher terrain to the west of the Mojave Desert, they will intensify and bring strong, gusty winds to the canyons and intermountain regions of Southern California.

Winds will start to pick up on Thursday night from Santa Barbara to San Bernardino to Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, and are expected to persist through Friday and much of Saturday.

“Santa Ana winds gusting 40-50 mph will be possible along the Southern California coastlines,” said Rossio.

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Due to the effects of local terrain, downtown Los Angeles and San Diego are unlikely to be subject to the full power of these winds.

Towns within and around the San Gabriel Mountains and Cleveland National Forest can expect wind gusts exceeding 45 mph late on Thursday through Saturday.

Outdoor furniture and other objects should be securely fastened or moved indoors by Thursday evening.

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High-profile vehicles traveling to and within Southern California should be aware of strong winds.

Santa Ana events tend to bring hot, dry gusts through the region, increasing fire danger. However, the recent rainfall and relatively cool air currently in place will decrease the fire threat this time around.

These strong offshore winds will help to push weekend temperatures back up to average after a cool week in the Los Angeles Basin and surrounding areas.