Meteorologists expect warmer than average temperatures across Orange County on Thanksgiving, due to offshore Santa Ana winds that will clear skies and howl through mountain passes.
Highs forecast for Thursday of 74 degrees in Huntington Beach and Laguna Beach, 75 in Newport Beach and 78 in Costa Mesa and Fountain Valley are five to 10 degrees hotter than normal for this time of year, National Weather Service meteorologist Adam Roser said.
Strong, dry winds will accompany the warmup beginning Wednesday evening, with gusts of 20 to 30 mph along the coast.
Winds will be even faster along mountain passes, possibly reaching speeds of 60 mph, Roser said. Motorists traveling for Thanksgiving should exercise caution, especially while behind the wheel or driving near trucks, trailers and other tall vehicles.
Starting to think about Thanksgiving travel plans? Keep in mind the return of #SantaAna winds late Wednesday. The strongest winds look to occur on Thursday.
Overall, this event looks to be on the weaker end, but plan ahead and stay tuned for any updates. #CAwx pic.twitter.com/vJRSHbbAe3
— NWS San Diego (@NWSSanDiego) November 20, 2022
Hot, gusty conditions will elevate the potential for wildfires, despite the passage of a storm across Southern California two weeks ago, Roser said. He advised against burning anything outdoors over the holiday.
“The rain did help, but it’s still very dry out there,” Roser said.
Winds should weaken, and temperatures should begin to cool off beginning Friday and through the weekend, Roser said. A low pressure system to the north was building and might make its way to Southern California. That will bring a roughly 40% chance of rain as soon as Monday.
On Saturday, meteorologists expect highs of 66 in Laguna Beach and Newport Beach and 69 in Costa Mesa, Huntington Beach and Fountain Valley, according to the National Weather Service. Temperatures could dip into the 50s along the coast by Sunday, Roser said.
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