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Red flag alert issued through Wednesday afternoon

Temperatures to remain in the 90s through the week

Posted: August 21, 2012 6:22 p.m.
Updated: August 21, 2012 6:22 p.m.

A red flag warning has been issued for the Santa Clarita Valley for possible “dry lightning” hits in the area overnight tonight and into Wednesday, weather officials report.

Red flag warnings alert residents of high fire danger and prompt fire departments to increase staffing and equipment in preparation for wildfires. They can be prompted by high heat, low humidity, high winds and the chance of fires being sparked by lightning.

The red flag warning takes effect at midnight tonight and remains in place throughout the day Wednesday until 5 p.m., said Scott Sukup of the National Weather Service office based in Oxnard.

Similar red flag warnings have been issued for other area valleys, including the San Fernando, San Gabriel and Antelope valleys, he said.

The heat wave experienced locally these past two weeks, although now easing off, has contributed to the warning, Sukup said.

“It’s a combination of situations relating primarily to humidity,” Sukup said Tuesday.

“The red flag warning is more for the threat of dry lightning,” he said. “When you get thunderstorms, you can still get lightning and not get rain.

“In the lower levels of the atmosphere, sometimes it’s too dry for rain,” he said. “The rain evaporates before it hits the ground. The heat we had previously is a factor, since it dried up the vegetation faster.”

There’s a slight chance of thunderstorms in the Santa Clarita Valley overnight tonight and throughout Wednesday, weather officials said.

Temperatures are expected to remain over 90 degrees throughout the week with temperatures dropping 30 degrees overnight to about 60 degrees on average, according to the forecast issued by the weather service.




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