SAN DIEGO — San Diego County is predicted to experience “abnormally hot” winter weather this week and into the weekend as unseasonably high temperatures are expected to reach the 80s and low 90s, the National Weather Service said Tuesday.
Forecasters explained the brunt of the heat will be felt Wednesday and Thursday, with temperatures up 15 to 22 degrees above average. Those “near-record levels” will continue through Sunday.
Along with the heat, Santa Ana winds will bring even drier air (low humidity) and offshore flow, elevating fire weather conditions, the NWS said.
“Prolonged Santa Ana wind at 10 to 25 mph and dry air – increasing early Wednesday and strongest Thursday morning with gusts 40 to 60 mph in canyons and highway passes,” said NWS Meteorologist Alex Tardy, who adds winds will ease off for Friday through Sunday.
Tardy explains the jet stream is the cause for the unusually warm temperatures during this time of year.
“It’s too far to the north and east,” he said. “Big block remains across Eastern Pacific. Yes, we’ve been talking about that much of this winter and even the past two years, but in this case, we also have a resurgence of Santa Ana winds coming across the Great Basin.”
In major cities, highs of 84 to 93 degrees are expected along the coast and valleys as well as deserts, according to the NWS. For the mountains and high desert, the warmest days come Friday and Saturday, reaching highs of 62 and 77 degrees.
With most of Southern California impacted by the hot temperatures, that means Super Bowl LVI on Sunday in Inglewood will feel the heat. Highs of 85 to 90 degrees are forecast along the L.A. County coast and coastal valleys. Parts of Orange, San Bernardino and Riverside counties will see highs of 86 to 91 during the heat wave, the NWS said.
The National Weather Service advises out-of-state visitors from winter climates, as well as those in vulnerable populations to stay cool and hydrated in avoidance of heat-related illness. Children and pets should also never be left in vehicles parked in direct sunlight.