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Santa Ana Winds Bring Elevated Fire Risk to San Diego County

A wind sock waves in the wind in this file photo taken on Friday, April 28, 2017.
Rogelio V. Solis / AP
A wind sock waves in the wind in this file photo taken on Friday, April 28, 2017.

Light Santa Ana winds are expected to sweep through San Diego County Tuesday, bringing warmer temperatures and a slightly increased risk of wildfires, according to the National Weather Service.

Winds out of the northeast are expected to be around 30 mph near the foothills Tuesday, with gusts potentially reaching 40 mph, NWS meteorologist Miguel Miller said. Wind gusts will strengthen on Wednesday and reach speeds between 45 and 55 mph near the foothills.

A wind advisory will be in effect from midnight until 3 p.m. Wednesday in the mountains and western valleys.


The advisory warns that high wind speeds could blow down tree limbs and knock down power lines, potentially causing outages.

Relative humidity will drop to around 10% Tuesday and around 5-10% on Wednesday, Miller said.

The gusty winds and low humidity will increase the risk of wildfires significantly on Wednesday, but fuels remain green in most of San Diego County, which should help to mitigate the danger, he said.

Wind speeds will remain tame in coastal areas and the deserts on Tuesday and Wednesday, with gusts expected to top out at 25 mph, Miller said.

Highs temperatures on Tuesday are expected to be in the mid-60s to mid- 70s in coastal areas, the mid-70s to low-80s in the western valleys, the high-50s to low-60s in the mountains and the mid-70s to low-80s in the deserts.


Conditions will continue warming in most areas through Friday, then cooling begins throughout the county on Saturday, Miller said.