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The Latest: Santa Ana winds to return to Southern California

October 18, 2018

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Latest on a new round of Santa Ana winds forecast for Southern California (all times local):

2:17 p.m.

The National Weather Service has upgraded planned fire weather watches to red flag warnings for a swath of Southern California ahead of a new round of Santa Ana winds.

The service says the warnings will go into effect before dawn Friday and last into the night due to gusty offshore winds, low relative humidity levels and warm temperatures.

Forecasters say the northeast winds won’t be as strong as the blasts that hit the state Monday and Tuesday but some gusts could reach 45 mph (72 kph).

According to U.S. Drought Monitor data released Thursday, nearly 85 percent of California ranges from abnormal dryness to extreme drought, and the worst conditions are concentrated in the south.

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7:43 a.m.

Gusty, dry Santa Ana winds are expected to return to Southern California, but forecasters say they won’t be as strong as the damaging blasts that hit early this week.

The National Weather Service says fire weather watches will go into effect late Thursday night in some areas and more widely on Friday, remaining in effect through Saturday afternoon.

The service says it’s possible the watches could be elevated to red flag warnings.

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