Santa Ana winds to bring critical fire weather over Thanksgiving holiday weekend
The National Weather Service’s Santa Ana office on Thursday issued a severe weather warning for Santa Ana winds on the east side of the San Diego County city.
The heavy rainfall and gusty Santa Ana winds are expected to become more frequent from Saturday through Sunday, the NWS said.
Rainfall is expected to increase to one-tenth of an inch between 6 p.m. on Friday and 12 midday on Sunday, with gusts up to 60 mph.
The Santa Ana winds are expected to bring a high pressure system to San Diego on Saturday and Sunday, pushing the atmospheric river to the west and southeast. This is due to the air mass being pulled by the jet stream with lower pressure farther to the east by the Pacific Ocean.
The atmospheric river is a large band of precipitation often associated with powerful storms in the Pacific Ocean along the equator, including the Santa Ana.
The Santa Ana winds are expected to bring another round of strong offshore winds on the weekend, with higher gusts than those expected over the holiday weekend before Thanksgiving.
In the wake of a massive wildfire, some community members in the northern Mojave Desert were able to find safety in a town near the San Francisco-San Diego border after evacuating their homes.
As of late Thursday, more than 12,000 people were still living in evacuation centers in the community near the mountains, said Greg Lucas, spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
The fire that began Oct. 8 has consumed more than 12,000 acres and forced thousands to evacuate their homes. But Lucas on Thursday said about 30 percent of the residents have returned to the area.
Rescue crews have been working around the clock to contain the blaze to the 10,600 acres that are still a threat. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection has said it is confident that “with aggressive suppression efforts and a well-managed fire, there