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San Diego County set to experience summer-like heat through Friday

Photo of San Diego skyline on Feb. 21, 2021
Alexander Nguyen
Photo of San Diego skyline on Feb. 21, 2021

It's going to feel a lot like summer across much of San Diego County starting Wednesday, with temperatures expected to push triple- digits in some areas.

The National Weather Service issued a heat advisory that will be in place from 11 a.m. Wednesday through 6 p.m. Friday for San Diego County valleys, including the cities of Escondido, El Cajon, San Marcos, La Mesa, Santee and Poway. Forecasters said temperatures of 95 to 100 degrees are anticipated, with the peak temperatures anticipated on Thursday and Friday.

The valleys will also be under a wind advisory from 6 a.m. Wednesday through 8 p.m. Thursday, with winds of 15 to 25 mph anticipated, along with gusts of up to 50 mph.

San Diego County set to experience summer-like heat through Friday

Coastal areas — including San Diego, Vista, Carlsbad, Encinitas, Chula Vista and National City — will also be under a heat advisory for the same stretch, with the NWS predicting temperatures between 88 and 96 degrees.

"What’s really unusual is not having a Santa Ana wind but but is combining that with a very warm hot air mass," said Alex Tardy, a senior meteorologist with NWS San Diego. "If we do get temperatures between 95 and 100, which looks definite, but these are near record or at record levels."

Tardy said these singular events don’t point to climate change on their own, but the data collected over time tells the story. "All our recent years have been the top ten warmest, so that’s concerning," he said, adding that we are still in a severe drought that's lasted more than two years.

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Captain Frank Lococo with Cal Fire San Diego said this wind event plus the heat create fire dangerous fire conditions. "When you get those high temperatures and those elevated wind speeds, it is like a blowtorch," he said, "so it’s going to continue to dry out those fuels, to increase the temperature of those fuels, and the reality is after that happens the chance of a large scale, catastrophic fire increases."


Forecasters issued the standard warnings for staying safe in the heat, advising people to "drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air-conditioned room, stay out of the sun, and check up on relatives and neighbors."

"Young children and pets should never be left unattended in vehicles under any circumstances," forecasters said.

Captain Neil Czapinski with Cal Fire San Diego urged people to be mindful of the conditions and refrain from outdoor activities that can spark a fire. "This wind event, this heat event is not the appropriate time to try to do any mechanized equipment around your house," he said. "If you do decide to do some of that, let’s wait until the weather changes a little bit and it cools off a little bit."

And you won’t have to wait too long. Tardy said starting Saturday things will begin to cool off, and by Tuesday we could even see some much needed rain. "This is a short lived event, early next week it gets abruptly colder, maybe even some showers," he said.

Santa Ana wind conditions are expected to diminish by Friday, with an onshore flow returning by Saturday, "spreading cooling inland through the weekend," followed by "cool and windy conditions with a chance of precipitation early next week," according to the NWS.