Major Santa Ana winds expected to continue to worsen Southern California fires

A wildfire threatens homes as it burns along the 101 Freeway Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017, in Ventura, Calif., raked by ferocious Santa Ana winds.PlayAP
WATCH 4 major fires continue to burn and endanger residents in California

The weather in Southern California continues to wreak havoc on fire officials trying to stymie the growing flames.

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SLIDESHOW: Photos: Fast-moving wildfires raging in Southern California

On Tuesday, winds gusted to 80 mph in parts of Southern California, producing major Santa Ana winds. These could be the worst Santa Ana winds in December in Southern California since 2002.

Southern California is having one of the driest starts to its wet season on record. The wet season starts around Oct. 1.

There are red flag and high wind warnings from Ventura to Los Angeles, San Diego and all the way to the U.S.-Mexico border.

PHOTO: Parts of Southern California were under red flag and high wind warnings on Wednesday. ABC
Parts of Southern California were under red flag and high wind warnings on Wednesday.

Gusty winds are in the forecast for Southern California on Wednesday, but they won't be as strong as they were yesterday. Some gusts near 30 mph are possible Wednesday.

PHOTO: Residents in southern California can expect to see more gusty winds on Wednesday. ABC
Residents in southern California can expect to see more gusty winds on Wednesday.

More major Santa Ana winds are forecast for Thursday, with gusts as high as 70 mph in the mountains.

Cold and snow head east

Cold air is moving into the Great Lakes and the Northeast on Wednesday morning, with heavy lake effect snow.

It will be very cold in the eastern U.S. on Thursday morning, with wind chills below zero in the Midwest and in the teens and 20s in the Northeast.

PHOTO: Wind chills are forecast to come in below zero in the Midwest on Thursday.ABC
Wind chills are forecast to come in below zero in the Midwest on Thursday.

Lake effect snow is ongoing this morning, and we have winter storm warnings and lake effect snow warnings from Wisconsin to New York. There will be gusty winds in part of New England near 40 mph.

Some areas near the Great Lakes, from Michigan to western New York, could see more than a foot of lake effect snow.

Snowfall totals in the Great Lakes could be over a foot this week.ABC News
Snowfall totals in the Great Lakes could be over a foot this week.

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