Strong, gusty winds will develop in parts of San Diego County Saturday as cool temperatures are expected to give way to hot, dry winds, and an increased risk for wildfires early next week.

“Strengthening high pressure aloft along the west coast and surface high pressure over the Great Basin will bring much warmer and drier conditions with gusty Santa Ana winds for Sunday into next week,” according to the weather service.

Boy tosses football at La Jolla Shores beach at sunset. Photo by Chris Stone

A high wind warning is in effect for San Diego County’s mountains and deserts and expected to extend until midnight. Areas of west to northwest winds are expected to strengthen to 25-35 mph with potentially damaging gusts of up to 65 mph.

“A low pressure system moving from the Pacific Northwest into the Great Basin will bring stronger onshore flow with periods of strong gusty west to northwest winds for the mountains and deserts for this afternoon through late this evening,” according to the National Weather Service.

At the start of the month, similar conditions caused temperatures to soar and numerous small fires plagued emergency crews for most of the week. Officials have warned they expect a bad fire season this summer.

The winds could make for difficult driving conditions, especially along Interstate 8 through the mountains. Visibility in the deserts could be reduced to a mile or less because of blowing sand or dust.

The low pressure system initially brought slightly cooler temperatures and onshore flow, which are expected to give way to offshore flow and above average temperatures early next week as a high pressure system builds along the coast, forecasters said.

A fire weather watch is scheduled to take effect for San Diego County’s mountains and inland valleys Sunday morning and extend through Monday evening because strong winds and low humidities are expected.

The strongest winds for this bout, 25-35 mph with gusts of up to 65 mph, are expected late Sunday and Monday. Forecasters said the very dry conditions and locally gusty winds are expected to stick around through at least Thursday.

– City News Service

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