Strong winds, high temperatures and low humidity in San Diego County’s mountains and inland valleys again Sunday prompted a warning that the combination could lead to “extreme fire behavior.”

A National Weather Service Red Flag Warning is set to remain in effect until 8 p.m. Tuesday for the valleys and mountains, including the Palomar and Descanso ranger districts of the Cleveland National Forest.

The National Weather Service issued a red flag alert warning that hot, dry, windy conditions could lead to fire. Image from the National Weather Service.

“A Red Flag Warning means that critical fire weather conditions are either occurring now, or will shortly,” according to the weather service. “A combination of strong winds, low relative humidity and warm temperatures will contribute to extreme fire behavior.”

High temperatures are expected to be in the high 70s to low 80s in the valleys today but could hit triple digits by mid-week. Mid-60s to low 70s are expected to be the highs in the mountains, but temperatures could be in the high 80s Thursday and Friday, according to the NWS.

Forecasters said today’s winds would stay mainly confined to around the coastal foothills and below passes and canyons in Orange and San Bernardino counties and on the Riverside County mountains’ north slopes, but the gusty Santa Ana winds would bluster into San Diego County Monday and Tuesday.

Northeast winds of around 15 mph with gusts of up to 25 mph are expected in San Diego County today, but forecasters said 35 mph gusts in the valleys and 40 mph in the mountains would be possible on Monday.

“Strengthening high pressure aloft along the West Coast and surface high pressure over the Great Basin will bring much warmer and drier conditions, along with gusty Santa Ana winds for today into Wednesday,” according to the weather service.

The strong Santa Ana winds are expected to weaken Thursday and Friday.

–City News Service

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