Red Flags Possible – First Santa Ana Of Season May Hit Malibu Friday

Written by on October 12, 2021

The first real Santa Ana windstorms of this fall in Malibu were predicted to arrive Thursday night into Friday, with 50 mile per hour wind gusts predicted for the windiest mountain and canyon locations.
Winds from the northwest were strong all week, blowing the scent of smoke from northwest of Santa Barbara into Malibu occasionally. They were predicted to shift to a more northeasterly track on Thursday, but would not intensify until Friday morning.
City officials said a Red Flag Warning might be issued then.  That means the National Weather Service thinks high temperatures, gusty winds and dry air will combine to increase fire level.
As of Tuesday afternoon, supercomputer models used by the NWS predicted a 6 millibar difference in air pressure between the Mojave Desert and the beach, enough to set up a moderate fall Santa Ana with peak winds of 50 miles per hour on mountaintops.
Winds and temperatures would likely peak Friday morning through afternoon, with 90 degree readings possible for the Malibu shoreline.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the Southern California Edison Company had not issued any predictions of intentional blackouts for the coming winds.  The company’s stated policy is to send initial notifications about possible power shut-offs to local governments, emergency officials, first responders, hospitals, and other critical infrastructure and service providers three days in advance.
City public safety director Susan Duenas told the city council Monday that a thicket of brush at Zuma Creek will be closed to all public entry, due to high fire danger, when the first Red Flag Warning is issued this fall.  About 1-2 dozen homeless people have been living in that thicket, aggravating some residents.

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