Santa Ana Winds, Red Flag Warning Return to Orange County

December 23, 2020 Updated: December 23, 2020

The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a Red Flag Warning for Orange, Los Angeles, and Ventura counties.

The warning—which indicates dangerous fire conditions—began at 8 a.m. on Dec. 23 and is scheduled to remain in effect through noon on Dec. 24. Strong Santa Ana winds are predicted to return to the Southern California region, combined with low humidity levels and moderately high temperatures.

Southern California Edison (SCE) reported that customers in affected areas may have their power turned off to reduce the fire risk from damaged electrical lines.

The NWS warned of “strong gusty winds” for the mountains, valleys, and inland Orange County.

“Moderately strong Santa Ana winds will continue to strengthen and become more widespread through the day today, resulting in locally critical fire weather with very dry conditions inland,” the NWS stated Dec. 23.

Winds were expected to increase throughout the day, ranging from 15 to 25 mph with 40 mph gusts, before decreasing on Dec. 24. In the canyons of the Santa Ana Mountains, winds were expected to reach up to 60 mph.

Humidity levels were predicted to drop on Dec. 23 to as low as 7 percent, with little overnight recovery. Temperatures throughout the region were expected in the mid-70s.

The NWS advised against any outdoor burning while the warning remains in effect because fires are likely to spread rapidly.