Strong gusty winds are expected to blow through valley and mountain areas in Riverside and San Bernardino counties today, raising the risk of wildfire, according to the National Weather Service.
“Warm and very dry conditions coupled with strong winds will elevate the fire danger,” according to a NWS statement.
The Weather Service issued a red flag warning for valleys and mountains in San Bernardino and Riverside counties, including the Coachella Valley, to remain in effect until 6 p.m. Saturday.
A red flag warning is issued when high winds combine with low humidity and warmer temperatures to create a risk of wildfire.
“A red flag warning means that critical fire weather conditions are either occurring now or will shortly,” according to the NWS. “A combination of strong winds, low relative humidity and warm temperatures will create explosive fire growth potential.”
The agency also issued a high wind warning for San Bernardino and Riverside county valleys and the Coachella Valley set to remain in effect until 2 p.m.
During that time, there will be east winds of 25 to 35 miles per hour, gusting up to 60 mph, forecasters said.
The strongest winds are expected near ridge tops and along coastal mountain slopes. Overnight, a 52-mph gust was recorded in Fremont Canyon.
A wind advisory is scheduled to follow the more serious high wind warning and remain in effect until 1 p.m. Saturday.
“The winds will make driving difficult, especially for motorists with high profile vehicles,” according to a NWS advisory. “Watch for broken tree limbs and power lines. Areas of blowing dust could locally reduce visibility.”