There was a heightened risk of wildfire for most of Riverside County Wednesday as a surge of strong Santa Ana winds blowing amid dry and warm conditions bore down on the metropolitan areas and mountains for the second consecutive day, meteorologists said.
The National Weather Service issued both a red flag warning and a high wind warning for the mountains and valleys of Riverside County, but not the Coachella Valley. The red flag warning, which is the agency's most serious fire- related warning, was scheduled to expire at 8 p.m. Thursday, while the high wind warning -- signaling winds strong enough to cause damage -- was scheduled to expire at 5 p.m. Thursday.
"Sustained winds during this time will range from 20 to 40 miles per hour with gusts of 40 to 60 mph over the foothills and valleys," the NWS said, adding that peak winds of 60 to 90 mph are likely in a few of the wind prone mountain and foothill areas.
There will be a brief lull in the winds Wednesday evening before a third and slightly weaker surge of gusty winds arrives late tonight into early Thursday, according to the agency.
– City News Service.