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Red Flag warning issued for risk of wildfire today

Saturday, December 8th, 2012
Issue 49, Volume 16.

SAN DIEGO - Dry and windy conditions will heighten the risk of wildfire in the valleys and mountains of San Diego County today, forecasters said.

"A combination of strong winds, low relative humidity and warm temperatures will create explosive fire growth potential," according to an advisory from the National Weather Service.

The agency scheduled a red flag warning for the valleys and mountains of San Diego County from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. During that period, sustained northeast winds of 15 to 25 miles per hour, with gusts up to 45 mph, were expected.

Humidity today was expected to fall to around 10 to 15 percent.

SAN DIEGO - Strong, gusty winds combined with low humidity and warm weather expected in San Diego County's mountains and inland valleys Sunday through Tuesday could up the risk for wildfires, forecasters said today.

The expected wind and low humidity prompted the National Weather Service to issue a Red Flag warning, set to start at 6 p.m. Sunday and extend through Monday to 2 p.m. Tuesday for inland valleys and mountain areas. That area includes the Palomar and Descanso ranger districts of the Cleveland National Forest.

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Flag Warning means that critical fire weather conditions are either occurring now, or will shortly," according to the NWS. "A combination of strong winds, low relative humidity and warm temperatures will create explosive fire growth potential."

High temperatures in the valleys could reach 71 degrees Sunday and around 75 degrees in the western valleys Monday and Tuesday. Highs in the mountains could reach 63 degrees on Sunday, 62 degrees on Monday and 66 degrees on Tuesday.

Forecasters expected winds would increase Sunday evening. The strongest winds would be likely Sunday night and Monday morning then again Monday night through Tuesday morning.

Northeast winds of between 20 and 30 miles per hour could be possible with gusts of up to 50 mph. Gusts could reach 60 mph through and below passes and canyons Sunday night and Monday morning, forecasters reported.

Wind speeds were expected to decrease to between 15 and 25 mph with gusts of around 40 mph Monday afternoon into Tuesday, although gusts could reach 50 mph through and below passes and canyons.

Winds were expected to shift Wednesday, as a trough of low pressure brought cooler conditions and a chance of precipitation Wednesday night and Thursday, the NWS said.



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