Warmth in California Leads to Wildfire Risk

By Anthony Sagliani, Meteorologist
March 2, 2013; 9:02 PM ET
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As high pressure builds across Nevada, offshore winds will bring another day of very warm temperatures across most of southern California on Saturday.

Gorgeous weather with full sunshine will result from Los Angeles to Santa Ana and San Diego.

In other parts of the region, mainly in the higher elevations, gusty winds will continue to blast through wind prone canyons and passes along the coastal foothills.

Some wind gusts could approach as high as 45 mph across interstate 10 as it wanders though San Gorgonio Pass.

Portions of the San Diego mountains will also be impacted by the winds with I-8 and state route 78 being the most heavily impacted roadways.

Those traveling should be prepared for gusty winds. High profile vehicles, such as trucks and recreational vehicles, will be most at risk to the winds. Such vehicles have a much larger surface area than smaller automobiles like cars or motorcycles. They can easily be overturned and toppled by sudden, violent wind gusts.

The winds will also combine with the warm temperatures and very low humidity values to create an elevated fire danger across the region.

If you will be taking advantage of the beautiful weather and plan to head outdoors, keep the heightened fire threat in mind. It only takes a lit cigarette or match to start a fire. The gusty winds and low humidity are favorable for rapid and explosive growth, and it would be very difficult to put the fire out before it grows out of control.

The winds will begin to die down Saturday afternoon across the region, and by nightfall, the fire threat will significantly diminish.

Much cooler and more seasonable weather is in store for southern California on Sunday and much of the first part of the upcoming workweek.

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