Weather service issues high wind warning

Strong, potentially damaging winds blew across San Diego County today, especially in the mountains.

The change of weather stems from a strong upper level low pressure system that moved south into the area Wednesday night, according to the National Weather Service. The agency issued a high wind warning for the mountains until 2 p.m. Friday.

A less serious wind advisory is in effect in coastal, valley and deserts areas until 2 p.m. Friday.

“Winds will mainly be confined to the ridge tops and northeast portions of the mountains today, then turn ... and spread into the coastal slopes and foothills tonight,’’ the weather service advised.

In the mountains, sustained winds of 20-40 mph with gusts up to 60 mph are expected. Elsewhere in the county, winds of 15 to 20 mph, with gusts up to 45 mph, are likely, according to the weather service.

“Wind gusts this strong are capable of downing trees and power lines, and blowing over unsecured outdoor objects,’’ the weather service advised. “These winds will also create hazardous conditions for high profile vehicles.”

Visibility will be reduced to less than three miles in areas with blowing dust, according to the agency.

The windy weather also prompted a gale warning for local boaters. The gale warning is in effect until 4 a.m. Friday for coastal waters off San Diego County.

Boaters should be prepared for rough seas due to short-period wind waves from the northeast and a longer period westerly swell, according to the weather service.

“Operating a vessel in gale conditions requires experience and properly equipped vessels. It is highly recommended that mariners without the proper experience seek safe harbor prior to the onset of gale conditions,” the weather service advised.

   
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