Citing critical fire weather conditions, the National Weather Service issued a Red Flag Warning Wednesday for the Santa Clarita Valley and other areas of Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties through Friday morning.
The extended offshore flow will continue into Friday, focused over Los Angeles and Ventura Counties.
Little change expected today with peak gusts in the 20- to 40-mph range in the wind-prone areas.
Strengthening offshore Santa Ana wind is expected Thursday into Thursday night, when gusts between 35 and 55 mph can be expected, resulting in the potential for very rapid fire spread, long-range spotting and other extreme fire behavior.
A tandem NWS wind advisory for Thursday 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. warns that the wind will be strongest in the Santa Clarita Valley as well as the Porter Ranch area in the northern San Fernando Valley and eastern Ventura County.
Gusts up to 55 mph are possible in the mountains. Wind is expected to diminish Thursday evening but remain gusty through Friday morning, especially in the mountains.
The humidity will remain incredibly dry with extremely poor overnight recoveries nearly everywhere, ranging from two to six percent on Wednesday and three to 10 percent on Thursday.
This will result in continued critical fire weather conditions into Friday, especially Thursday and Thursday night when the winds peak.
The Santa Barbara County Mountains could experience near critical conditions Thursday afternoon into Thursday night.
In addition, the air mass will be fairly unstable above the Thomas Fire today, resulting in a greater risk for large fire plumes which will locally enhance winds near the fire and cause erratic fire behavior.
In related news, the Rye Fire was declared 100 percent contained today by the Los Angeles County Fire Department.