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Strong winds to exacerbate California wildfires

Ben Domensino, Thursday December 7, 2017 - 12:31 EDT

Deadly wildfires are burning across southern California and a burst of strong wind is about to make the situation worse.

A number of separate wildfires were burning in southern California on Wednesday and multiple homes have already been destroyed in Los Angeles. Unfortunately, conditions are set to worsen during the next 24 hours.

A stagnant weather pattern over North America is resulting in a prolonged spell of warm and dry weather in southern California. Blustery winds are exacerbating the situation and these winds, known as the Satna Ana winds, are expected to strengthen on Wednesday night local time.

The Santa Ana winds are caused when dry air descends from the mountain towards the coast in southern California. This sinking air dries out and warms up due to something called the Foehn effect and gets faster as it squeezes through valleys.

Wind gusts above 100km/h have been recorded during the last 24 hours and the National Weather Service predicts that gusts could reach close to 130km/h on Wednesday night and Thursday morning.

The problematic winds will ease from Friday, although no rain is forecast for at least the next week.

- Weatherzone

© Weatherzone 2017

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