Friday, November 14, 2008

more red

Recent sunset over east Redlands.

By Guy McCarthy

REDLANDS - While a firestorm fed by sundowner winds has claimed a hundred or more homes up the coast in Montecito, the National Weather Service has expanded red flag warnings to include coastal slopes below 5,000 feet in the San Bernardino National Forest and other mountains of southwest San Bernardino and Riverside counties.

The updated warnings issued at 2:47 p.m. today reflect ongoing concerns for rising temperatures, low humidity and explosive fire potential similar to what unfolded yesterday evening in Santa Barbara County.

Red flag warnings also continue until 4 p.m. Saturday for Ventura and Los Angeles counties, excluding the Antelope Valley. Warnings updated at 3:02 p.m. today make specific mention of potential for gusting winds from the Hollywood Hills to Malibu.

More from the Weather Service:

"The red flag warning is being expanded this evening to include all of the Cleveland National Forest . . . the San Diego County mountains . . . and the San Diego County inland valleys."

The warnings continue in effect until Saturday afternoon for these areas, with potential for relative humidity below 15 percent and northeast winds 25 to 45 mph, gusting 55 to 65 mph, according to the Weather Service.

"Forecast models continue to project moderate Santa Ana winds through Saturday with the strongest offshore pressure gradients occurring this evening through Saturday morning," according to the Weather Service in San Diego.

In other words, it's hot, dry and breezy right now.

But the winds may pick up tonight.


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