Fierce winds forecast for Inland region Tuesday night, Wednesday
The first strong Santa Ana windstorm of the season is slated to lash the Inland Empire Tuesday night and Wednesday, with gusts in excess of 60 mph possible, according to the National Weather Service.
“Damaging winds will be possible in the favored Santa Ana wind corridors, especially below the Cajon Pass, through that portion of the Inland Empire to the Santa Ana Mountains and nearby areas,” the NWS said in a statement. “Peak gusts of 60 mph are expected, with localized gusts in wind-prone canyons to 70 mph.”
Ridges of high pressure will drag across the Great Basin in Nevada and Utah midweek, turning on the east wind accelerator, according to the Weather Service.
A High Wind Warning is in effect from 7 p.m. Tuesday to 7 p.m. Wednesday.
Though no fire weather warnings have been posted, forecasters noted that the offshore winds will raise the potential for any blazes that erupt to become wildfires in some locations due to the ongoing drought.
“Forecast models show relative humidity plummeting into the lower teens Wednesday as dry air from the desert runs downslope and warms (the region),” the NWS stated. “The combination of strong winds and low relative humidity will lead to a period of critical fire weather, but only for a maximum duration of three to five hours. Given the fact that … we received significant rainfall recently, we will not be issuing any fire weather products.”
Meteorologists said that the most intense winds will be Wednesday morning.
Another round of Santa Anas is anticipated Friday and Saturday, though that wind event is expected to be weaker than the upcoming one.
According to the Weather Service, temperatures in the Riverside metropolitan area will be seasonable through the week, with highs in the low 70s and lows in the mid 40s.
In the Coachella Valley, the mercury will generally peak in the mid 70s, with lows around 50, while in the Temecula Valley, the daytime temps will hover in the upper 60s, with lows around 40 to the end of the week.