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Strong Santa Ana winds predicted for San Diego County

Santa Ana Winds swept through Rancho Bernardo on Friday morning.
Brooke Ruth
Santa Ana Winds sweep through Rancho Bernardo in San Diego, Calif. Undated photo.

Onshore winds and cooler temperatures in San Diego County were expected to through Saturday afternoon, the National Weather Service said.

Late Saturday into Sunday could see a transition to offshore flow and warming temperatures, with multiple rounds of Santa Ana winds through the middle of next week. Strongest Santa Ana winds look to occur Saturday night into Sunday.

Much drier conditions resulting in elevated to critical fire weather conditions can also be anticipated through midweek. Onshore flow returns from next Thursday onward.


The combination of winds and very low humidity may lead to periods of critical fire weather Sunday and Monday, with near-critical conditions continuing Tuesday and Wednesday as weaker offshore winds prevail.

It will be mostly sunny near the coast Friday, with high temperatures from 66 to 70 degrees, the NWS said. The inland areas will be mostly sunny with a high of 71. It'll be mostly sunny in the mountains with highs from 65 to 74. The deserts will be mostly sunny with highs from 84 to 87 .

High temperatures over the next few days could remain 5 to 10 degrees cooler than the seasonal normal because of a deep marine layer and persistent onshore winds. Stronger and gustier winds may occur over the mountains and deserts as well as the coastal waters starting late Friday afternoon and evening and continuing into Saturday.

Peak wind gusts look to be around 40 to 50 mph, with the strongest winds occurring over ridgelines and below mountain passes, as well as through wind-prone canyons. Upper level ridging then builds in behind over the Great Basin behind this shortwave. The resulting northerly flow and cold air from the Great Basin region could lead to a period of Santa Ana winds.

Weaker Santa Ana winds are then expected for Tuesday and Wednesday. Accordingly, there may be a steady warming trend for the coasts and valleys starting Sunday due to the persistent Santa Ana winds. At the same time on Sunday, cold air over the mountains and deserts keeps temperatures there much cooler than normal.


No hazardous marine weather was expected through Saturday morning. Gusty northwest winds strengthening over the outer waters Saturday afternoon and night could produce conditions hazardous for small craft.