SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif — Santa Ana winds kicked up in San Diego County and will be around through Wednesday and Thursday, creating concern over downed trees and power lines.
Widespread winds in the 30-45-mph range are forecast from the coast to the inland valleys, though gusts could reach as high as 60 mph in wind-prone areas in the valleys and mountains, peaking on Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service.
Forecasters said power lines and trees may sustain damage, noting that the winds are "not the typical canyon and passes Santa Ana winds" but "widespread high winds."
On Tuesday, the San Diego County Health and Human Services closed the COVID-19 testing site due to high winds and it will remain closed through Wednesday.
Officials with San Diego Gas & Electric said they were closely monitoring weather conditions and preparing for an emergency response in case the power grid is impacted.
The utility is urging residents to help prevent power outages by removing dead trees and overhanging branches near structures, and secure patio furniture, loose yard objects, roofs, balconies, tarps, pool covers and mylar balloons to ensure they don't fly into power lines, according to SDG&E.
With a chance of rain also forecasted for the mountains and deserts, "residents are also urged to drive cautiously as a leading cause of power outages during wet weather is drivers hitting power poles or transformers," according to an SDG&E statement.
High elevation areas of the mountains in the eastern part of San Diego County are expected to receive snow, possibly several inches, on Tuesday night and early Wednesday.
The NWS is also forecasting rip currents and dangerous swimming conditions Tuesday in San Diego County, along with hazardous boating conditions for the inner and outer coastal waters through Wednesday due to gusty east winds.
Surf of 4 to 7 feet, with sets to 8 feet, were forecast into Tuesday. La Jolla and southward could have local sets up to 10 feet, according to the NWS. The wind could also create minor beach erosion.