Strong winds from Tropical Storm Kay arrive at Ocean Beach. Photo by Chris Stone
Strong winds sway palm trees in Ocean Beach. File photo by Chris Stone

Santa Ana winds will buffet the San Diego area this week, blowing hard enough to potentially topple trees and make driving hazardous in some highland locales, according to forecasters.

The gusty conditions will kick in late Tuesday evening and become more intense and widespread on Wednesday, the National Weather Service reported.

Over the period, winds out of the northwest will reach sustained speeds of 25 to 35 mph across the county, with gusts up to 70 mph along the mountain slopes and below passes and canyons, the weather service reported.

Drivers, particularly those in motor homes, big rigs and other large vehicles, are advised to exercise extra caution while traveling through areas hit by the highest winds whipped up by the Santa Ana system.

The gusty conditions will weaken Thursday and Friday and continue in milder fashion through the weekend, according to meteorologists.