Gusty Santa Ana winds are expected Tuesday in the Riverside metropolitan area, with conditions continuing into at least Wednesday, raising the risk of wildfires.
“The strong winds and lowest humidity will coincide on Tuesday for the Inland Empire, the Santa Ana Mountains, and inland Orange County,” the National Weather Service said.
A red flag warning is in effect through 10 p.m. Tuesday for the Inland Empire, and a high wind watch is in effect in the Riverside metropolitan area through late Tuesday night.
Affected areas could have winds of 25 to 35 mph, with gusts up to 60 mph in the mountains, 55 mph in the valleys and 40 mph in the Coachella Valley. Humidity levels will hover between 15% and 20%, forecasters said.
The NWS warned that the strong winds could make travel difficult for high profile vehicles and blow down trees and power lines, potentially causing widespread power outages.
The high winds might prompt Southern California Edison to issue Public Safety Power Shutoffs, in which electricity is turned off for customers in wind-prone areas to prevent the possibility of downed power lines sparking wildfires.
As of early Tuesday, 11,586 SCE customers in Riverside County were under consideration for outages. A map of the utility’s PSPS activity is available at www.sce.com/wildfire/psps.
High temperatures Tuesday were expected to be 61 to 66 degrees in the valleys, 65 to 70 in the Coachella Valley and just 45 to 53 in the mountains.
A low pressure system to the southwest will move into the region Tuesday night, bringing the potential for light snow in the Riverside County mountains and light rain in the rest of the county, forecasters said.
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