Santa Ana Winds Returning to Sweep Southern California This Week

Windmill turning
Santa Ana winds rotate a windmill in the back country. Photo courtesy National Weather Service

The respite of cooler weather, higher humidity and a stronger afternoon sea breeze will shift back to a Santa Ana pattern by Wednesday, bringing warmth and dryness to San Diego through the weekend.

While San Diego’s winds will remain relatively mild, a stronger Santa Ana will return to the Inland Empire Wednesday and Thursday, generating gusts up to 60 mph in some wind-prone locations, according to the National Weather Service, which posted a wind advisory beginning at 10 a.m. Wednesday and continuing to 2 p.m. Thursday.

“Winds will work south into the Inland Empire and Orange County through Wednesday morning,” according to the NWS. “The (northeast) winds will become strong and gusty … (with) the strongest gusts of 50 to locally 60 mph, most likely Wednesday night in wind-prone canyons and passes.”

The previous Santa Ana wind event for the region spanned three days, beginning Halloween weekend and concluding early last week. Conditions contributed to the rapid spread of a blaze north of Aguanga that consumed nearly 2,500 acres and damaged or destroyed more than a dozen structures, including three homes.

Forecasters said that very low relative humidity will increase wildfire risks again throughout the region, but the state should get a break from the dryness starting sometime next week — including a possibility of significant rainfall in San Diego.

The low will spin eastward by Thursday afternoon.

High temperatures in the San Diego area will be in the mid-70s at the coast Wednesday and Thursday and high 70s inland, with lows in the low- to mid-50s.

City News Service contributed to this report.