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Gusty winds expected throughout county

REGION — Gusty winds are expected to sweep through San Diego County starting today and cause potentially dangerous driving conditions through Wednesday, meteorologists said.

The National Weather Service issued a high wind warning that lasts through 2 p.m. today for the county mountains and deserts.

A wind advisory is set to take effect at 6 a.m. Tuesday and last through noon Wednesday for the county mountains and valleys.

The high wind warning means that sustained winds of at least 40 mph are expected, with gusts reaching over 58 mph, while a wind advisory signifies that sustained winds of at least 35 mph are expected, the NWS said.

West and northwest winds today are expected to range from 40 to 50 mph, with gusts reaching 75 mph possible near mountain ridgetops, forecasters said.

The winds are expected to turn northeast and decrease slightly tonight, with winds of 25 to 35 mph and gusts near 55 mph possible Tuesday near mountain ridgetops and along coastal mountain slopes. Winds in inland valley areas will range from 15 to 25 mph with gusts of 45 mph possible.

Powerful winds could whip up sand and dust and create potentially hazardous driving conditions, especially for high-profile vehicles, the NWS said. Officials urged drivers to be cautious in low-visibility areas and look out for possible downed trees and power lines.

A beach hazards statement warning of minor coastal flooding during high tides is in effect through Tuesday morning at the county beaches. Waves of 3-6 feet will be possible along with strong rip currents, forecasters said.

Accompanying the strong winds today will be partly cloudy skies, below average temperatures and a slight chance of showers this morning west of the mountains.

High temperatures today will be 60 degrees at the beaches and inland, 63 in the western valleys, 44 to 51 in the mountains and 62 to 67 degrees in the deserts. There is a 20 percent chance of rain in coastal areas, the inland valleys and the mountains.