Updated at 10 a.m. Oct. 19, 2016
Santa Ana winds, above-average temperatures and low humidity will combine Wednesday to create critical fire weather conditions in parts of San Diego County.
Forecasters said “critical fire weather conditions” would hit San Diego County by mid-morning Wednesday. A National Weather Service red flag warning for the inland valleys and the mountains is in effect until 8 p.m. Thursday.
“A combination of strong winds, low relative humidity and warm temperatures will contribute to extreme fire behavior,” according to the NWS.
Northeast winds of 15 to 30 miles per hour with gusts of 40 to 50 mph are expected throughout the warning period. Forecasters said the strongest winds would blow through and below mountain passes and into portions of the valleys.
Peak wind gusts recorded as of 8 a.m. Wednesday included 37 mph in Julian; 35 mph in Alpine, Boulevard and Sill Hill; 33 mph in Descanso and Santa Ysabel; 31 mph at Camp Pendleton; 30 mph on Volcan Mountain; 29 mph in Potrero; 28 mph in Jamul; 26 mph at Lake Cuyamaca, on Palomar Mountain and in Wynola; and 25 mph in Harrison Park and on Mt. Laguna.
The winds are expected to weaken somewhat Wednesday evening, but will ramp back up early Thursday, then weaken Friday. However, hot and dry conditions will persist into the weekend.
Forecasters said high temperatures could be as much as 15 to 20 degrees above average west of the mountains, and 5 to 10 degrees higher than normal elsewhere in the county. Several locales could see temperatures push into the 90s.
High temperatures Wednesday are expected to range from 81 to 86 degrees at the beaches, 86 to 91 degrees inland, 90 to 95 in the western valleys, 84 to 89 near the foothills, 75 to 84 degrees in the mountains and 89 to 94 in the deserts.
On Thursday, temperatures will be 87 to 92 degrees along the coast, 92 to 97 inland, 93 to 98 in the western valleys, 88 to 93 near the foothills, 79 to 88 in the mountains and 91 to 96 in the deserts.
Any fires that develop would likely spread rapidly and outdoor burning is not advised, forecasters said.
— City News Service
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