For the third day in a row, strong and potentially damaging Santa Ana winds were expected to blow throughout much of San Diego County Thursday.

The National Weather Service issued a high wind warning — signaling winds strong enough to cause damage — for the valleys and mountains until 5 p.m., saying isolated gusts Thursday were likely to measure 60 to 80 miles per hour in the mountains and foothills, and 40 to 60 mph in the inland valleys.

National Weather Service forecast for wind gusts on Thursday, May 1.

Along the coast, a less serious wind advisory was also scheduled to expire at 5 p.m.

The weather service said between the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar and the San Diego Bay, sustained winds of 15 to 25 mph and gusts of 30 to 40 mph were likely Thursday.

A wind advisory is issued when winds strong enough to make driving difficult are expected or occurring.

The Weather Service typically issues a red flag warning — signaling a threat of wildfire — for hot, dry and windy days such as San Diego has experienced this week.

The warning was not issued this week because of the recent rains, but the blustery conditions still managed to dangerously stoke several fires amid temperatures in the 90s on Wednesday, including one in the bed of the San Diego River near Carlton Oaks Country Club in Santee, and the other in palm trees near SeaWorld.

The winds also downed utility poles and toppling trees throughout the county this week.

— City News Service

Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.