Santa Ana winds blow in warmer weather

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SAN DIEGO -- Gusty Santa Ana winds and unseasonably warm weather are expected in San Diego County Friday and Saturday ahead of a second bout of strong winds early next week.

A National Weather Service wind advisory for the valleys and mountains is set to remain in effect until 1 p.m. Saturday. Winds of 20 to 30 miles per hour will be possible during the advisory period, along with gusts of 40 to 50 mph and up to 60 mph in the windiest locales.

“Building surface high pressure in the Great Basin will bring moderate to locally strong offshore winds to Southern California through Saturday afternoon,'' according to the weather service. “A second, stronger surge of offshore winds is expected Sunday through Tuesday.''

Forecasters said the gusty wind may make for difficult driving conditions along Interstates 8 and 15, especially for motorists in high-profile vehicles. Drivers were urged to use extra caution as blowing dust could lead to visibility being reduced to a mile or less and the wind may be strong enough to send broken tree limbs and other debris into the roadway.

The high pressure building over the west will also cause daytime temperatures to soar.

“Building high pressure aloft and persistent and strengthening offshore flow will result in a warming trend into next week,'' according to the weather service. “Highs (are) likely to reach 5 to 15 degrees above normal by Sunday.''

High temperatures today were predicted to be up to 74 degrees inland, around 75 degrees in the western valleys, 65 to 70 degrees near the foothills, 55 to 64 degrees in the mountains, 67 to 72 degrees in the deserts and 68 to 73 degrees at the coast.

Elevated surf and strong rip currents are also expected today along the county's beaches, forecasters said. A beach hazards statement is set to remain in effect until this evening amid surf of 3 to 6 feet and sets of up to 7 feet.

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