- Southern California’s major electric utility started cutting power in the mountains near Los Angeles after high winds increased the wildfire risk, marking the second consecutive year that parts of the drought-stricken region will spend Thanksgiving in darkness.
Red flag warnings were expected to be in effect as late as late morning and will carry on for most of Friday with strong gusts and low relative moisture predicted, the National Weather Service said.
The strongest and potentially most damaging winds were expected Thursday night into Thanksgiving morning.
Gusts up to 121 mph were expected near and below Cajon Pass and close to the shorelines of Santa Ana Mountains.
Two major utilities have been considering energy shutdowns in high-risk areas to prevent wildfires breaking out in case the Santa Anas floods damage electrical systems or blow debris onto power lines.
Edison of Southern California said it considered severing the power supply to more than 151.000 customers in Kern, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura County.
Edison warned that more than 150.000 homes and businesses could lose power, while semifinalist San Diego Gas & Electric could cut power to more than 42.000 homes.
Meteorologists also warned of the possibility of hard frost throughout the night, with temperatures as high as 23 degrees in the high desert Antelope Valley north of Los Angeles.
Strong #SantaAnaWinds and very dry air will combine for critical fire weather across much of Los Angeles & Ventura Counties Wed thru Fri. Peak gusts of 60-70 mph possible for foothills & mountains along with min humidities of 2-8%. #CAwx #LAweather #ReadySetGo! pic.twitter.com/smQuo2qrNY
— NWS Los Angeles (@NWSLosAngeles) November 23, 2021
Critical fire weather is expected today (11/24) and Thursday (11/25) in southern California. These conditions may persist into Friday (11/26). Strong winds (and stronger gusts) will combine with low humidity to promote rapid fire growth. More info: https://t.co/cpnLqiKdeW #cawx pic.twitter.com/vxD3PdU7rG
— NWS Storm Prediction Center (@NWSSPC) November 24, 2021
In preparation for the upcoming Santa Ana Wind event, @CAL_FIRE has pre-positioned additional Type III engines and Hand Crews in Southern California. Read more below: @RivCoNow pic.twitter.com/Kt0Pf430KI
— CAL FIRE/Riverside County Fire Department (@CALFIRERRU) November 24, 2021