Gusty Santa Ana winds in the Inland Empire’s mountains and valleys, combined with low humidity, were expected to raise the risk for wildfires over a roughly 24-hour span starting Sunday evening.
Fire weather and high wind watches are set to go into effect for the mountains and valleys Sunday evening. The high wind watch will expire Monday morning, but the fire weather watch period will extend through Monday evening, according to the National Weather Service.
Sustained northeast winds of up to 30 miles per hour will be likely throughout the watch periods along with gusts that could reach 70 mph, according to the NWS. Daytime relative humidities as low as 5 percent will add to the wildfire risk.
“The winds will develop first over the San Bernardino County Mountains, Inland Empire, northern parts of the Coachella Valley and the Santa Ana Mountains very late tonight and Sunday morning, then gradually spread southward into San Diego County by Sunday evening,” weather service forecasters said.
The winds are expected to weaken Monday afternoon, but could remain close to advisory thresholds into Tuesday, forecasters said. Low humidities are also expected to persist into Tuesday.
In addition to increasing the risk for wildfires, the gusty wind could also lead to hazardous driving conditions, especially for motorists driving high profile vehicles. Forecasters advised drivers to be on the lookout for blowing dust and downed tree limbs.