RIVERSIDE (CNS) – Santa Ana winds will sweep through Riverside County Monday, Sept. 28 as temperatures heat up amid low humidity, significantly raising the risk of wildfires throughout the region, according to the National Weather Service.
A wide area of high pressure will build over the western United States today, ushering in hot and dry weather in Southern California through Thursday, forecasters said.
The NWS issued a red flag warning from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. today for the Riverside metropolitan area, the San Gorgonio Pass near Banning and the Riverside County mountains. The Coachella Valley was not included in the advisory.
Sustained winds out of the east and northeast are expected to be between 15-25 mph, with gusts possible reaching 40 mph, forecasters said. Daytime humidity is expected to drop to 10-15 percent today throughout the region.
The red flag warning means that outdoor burning is not recommended, and any fires that develop will likely spread rapidly, according to the NWS. Wind speeds are expected to weaken this evening, but low humidity and dry fuels will elevate the risk of wildfires through at least Thursday.
The NWS also issued a heat advisory that will be in effect from 10 a.m. Tuesday through 8 p.m. Thursday in the Riverside metropolitan area.
High temperatures today are forecast to reach 103 in the Coachella Valley, 96 in the San Gorgonio Pass near Banning, 98 in Hemet, 100 in Riverside, 97 in Lake Elsinore, 96 in Temecula, and 81 in Idyllwild.
Highs are expected to reach triple digits in much of the Riverside metropolitan area on Tuesday and Wednesday, forecasters said. The mercury in the Coachella Valley is expected to drop to 102 on Tuesday, then rise to 106 on Wednesday.