UPDATED: ‘Red Flag’ warning issued for Riverside County

UPDATE: Sunday, Oct. 8, 4:50 p.m.

RIVERSIDE – The first Santa Ana winds of the season will arrive in the Inland Empire overnight, with the potential to blast the area with 55 mile-per-hour wind gusts and increase fire risk, the National Weather Service said today.

A Red Flag Warning for parts of Riverside and San Bernardino counties will go into effect 3 a.m. Monday and remain in effect through 10 a.m. Tuesday. A wind advisory will also be in effect from 4 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday in western Riverside County, and from 12 a.m. to noon Monday in the Coachella Valley.

Sustained 25 to 35 mile per hour northeast winds were expected Monday morning through Tuesday morning, with gusts of up to 55 miles per hour, according to the NWS.

The strongest gusts were expected below mountain passes and canyons.

Humidity levels were predicted to fall to between 5 and 10 percent late Monday morning through early Monday evening. On Tuesday, humidity was predicted to remain between 8 and 12 percent.

These factors were expected to combine to create critical fire weather conditions for the region.

Winds will weaken Tuesday and Wednesday, with humidity beginning to rise on Wednesday, the NWS said.

ORIGINAL STORY:

RIVERSIDE – Dry and windy weather conditions expected in Riverside County beginning tonight will increase the risk of fires in parts of the region, according to the National Weather Service.

A Red Flag Warning will be in effect from 6 a.m. Monday to 10 a.m. Tuesday for areas below the Cajon Pass, including the Santa Ana Mountains, the NWS said.

Forecasters expect gusts of up to 55 mph on Monday and up to 35 mph on Tuesday.

“Any fires that develop will likely spread rapidly with extreme behavior,”‘ the agency said, and discouraged any type of outdoor burning.

The conditions could also sweep debris onto roadways and cause hazardous cross-winds for high-profile vehicles.   The NWS expects the humidity level to pick up Tuesday night into Wednesday. Temperatures will remain mild, however, with highs in the 80s all week in Riverside, occasionally reaching the low 90s in the valleys.

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