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High winds bring fire danger to Southern California, until mild Christmas Day

Santa Ana winds will increase the risk for wildfires in Southern California this week, but the weather should calm by Christmas Day, which will feature a mix of mild temperatures and mostly sunny skies, forecasters said Tuesday.

A red flag warning for the Inland Empire, Orange and Los Angeles counties was expected to start Wednesday through Thursday, with gusts of up to 60 miles per hour in some areas, meteorologists with the National Weather Service said. The dry conditions will bring “critical” fire weather to mountain and inland areas, meteorologist Casey Oswant said.

Tens of thousands of residents in the mountainous, valley and some inland areas could face power shutoffs over the next few days due to the fire danger, according to Southern California Edison. The areas under consideration for shutoffs will be monitored from 3 a.m. Wednesday to noon Thursday.

Folks can see if their area could face a shutoff at

The winds and fire risk will die down by Friday morning, Christmas Day, with temperatures for most of the region in the mid-60s to low-70s. There could be some clouds throughout the day and possibly some rain into the night for some areas.

The San Bernardino Mountains will likely see some rain, Oswant said, possibly with a few snowflakes.

“Into Saturday we’re looking into mostly cloudy skies, even a chance of slight showers in the mountains,” meteorologist David Sweet said. “By Sunday night into Monday, another storm system moves across the area, with a 40% chance of rain.”

That storm could bring anywhere from a half-inch to three-quarters inch of rain, Sweet estimated.

Here are the forecasted highs for Christmas Day:

Fullerton: 72Long Beach: 66Downtown Los Angeles: 68San Fernando Valley: 68Mission Viejo: 70San Bernardino: 71Torrance: 67Redlands: 70Riverside: 71Whittier: 69

Source: Orange County Register

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