REGION – Santa Ana winds will return amid dry conditions this week, significantly raising the risk of wildfires in the San Diego County mountains and western valleys, according to the National Weather Service.
Moderate strength winds were expected Tuesday in the mountains, forecasters said. Winds out of the east were expected to be around 15 mph, with gusts potentially reaching 30 mph Tuesday afternoon.
On Wednesday night, those winds will increase and become more widespread, with 50 mph gusts possible in the mountains and the western valleys, according to the NWS. On Thursday, humidity will drop to around 10% with poor overnight recovery.
A fire weather watch will be in effect from late Wednesday night through Saturday evening in the mountains and the western valleys.
The fire weather watch means outdoor burning is not recommended because any fires that develop will likely spread rapidly, according to the NWS.
High temperatures Tuesday could reach 74 degrees near the coast, 80 inland, 83 in the western valleys, 72 in the mountains and 81 in the deserts.
The winds were expected to slowly weaken and become more localized on Friday and Saturday, forecasters said.