Another round of Santa Ana winds will lash the Inland Empire, elevating wildfire dangers throughout the region on Saturday, the National Weather Service said Thursday.

“The pressure gradient (will be) robust enough to generate gusts near 60 mph, locally up to 70 mph in wind-prone locations along coastal mountain slopes and below passes,” the NWS said in a statement. “Periods of critical fire weather conditions are expected Friday night into Saturday.”

The agency posted a Fire Weather Watch from 1 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday.

“Any fires that develop will likely spread quickly,” the NWS stated.

Relative humidity is expected to plummet to 10 % to 15%, comparable to conditions on Wednesday, when the first Santa Ana windstorm of the winter season generated gusts up to 40 mph in the Riverside metropolitan area, with higher intensity winds in the San Gorgonio Pass and across the desert area between Thermal and Blythe.

No significant fires occurred during that wind event.

The one forecast for Saturday will be powered by ridges of high pressure traversing the Great Basin to the northeast.

Weekend high temperatures in the Riverside area are expected to top out in the low 70s, with lows in the mid-40s.

In the Coachella Valley, the daytime mercury will settle in the mid to upper 70s, with lows in the low 50s, while in the Temecula Valley, the highs will hover in the low 70s, with lows in the upper 30s, according to forecasters.

Another Santa Ana windstorm could develop around Thanksgiving, meteorologists said.

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