Beware of heat, wind and fire

Beware of heat, wind and fire

Rarely does the National Weather Service issue statements warning the public of three weather dangers simultaneously, but today is that day in Southern California. The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning, a High Wind Warning and a Heat Advisory.

Red Flag Warning: The National Weather Service issued a Red Flag Warning for much of Southern California today and Friday. The Red Flag Warning will remain in effect until 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 25. The warning indicates strong wildfire possibilities due to strong, gusty winds and low humidity.

A Red Flag Warning means that critical fire weather conditions are either occurring now or will shortly. A combination of strong winds, low relative humidity and warm temperatures can contribute to extreme fire behavior. Use extreme caution with potential fire ignition sources.

If fire ignition occurs, conditions will be favorable for extreme fire behavior and rapid growth which would threaten life and property.

Northeast winds will strengthen and become more widespread this morning with areas of northeast winds 25 to 35 mph with gusts to 55 mph, with isolated gusts to 75 mph below passes and canyons. The winds will spread into San Diego County today with the stronger and more widespread winds predicted for tonight into Friday morning.

Lowest daytime humidity will fall to around 5 percent today and Friday with poor overnight recovery.

Very low humidity will continue into Saturday, but with weaker and less widespread winds. Onshore flow will return and strengthen Sunday spreading cooling and higher coastal humidity inland.

Heat Advisory: The National Weather Service also issued a heat advisory in effect from 10 a.m. this morning until 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 25. Expect high temperatures between 93 and 97 degrees in inland San Diego County.

Hot temperatures may cause heat illnesses to occur. Drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air-conditioned room, stay out of the sun, and check up on relatives and neighbors. Young children and pets should never be left unattended in vehicles under any circumstances.

Take extra precautions if you work or spend time outside. When possible, reschedule strenuous activities to early morning or evening. Know the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Wear lightweight and loose-fitting clothing when possible. To reduce risk during outdoor work, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration recommends scheduling frequent rest breaks in shaded or air-conditioned environments. Anyone overcome by heat should be moved to a cool and shaded location. Heat stroke is an emergency: call 9-1-1 if symptoms occur.

High Wind Warning: San Diego County mountains and inland valleys can expect winds developing today, then becoming stronger and more widespread tonight into Friday morning.

The High Wind Warning will remain in effect from 8 p.m. this evening in San Diego County until 2 p.m. Friday, Oct. 25. The National Weather Service forecasts areas of east to northeast winds 25 to 35 mph with gusts to 60 mph. Gusts to 75 mph are possible near the mountain ridge tops.

Damaging winds will blow down trees and power lines. Widespread power outages are possible. In fact, SDG&E suggests it will cut power today to several communities in eastern San Diego County, including eastern Poway and parts of Rancho Bernardo.

Travel will be difficult, especially for high profile vehicles. People should avoid being outside in forested areas and around trees and branches. If possible, remain in the lower levels of your home during the windstorm, and avoid windows. Use caution if you must drive.

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