High Tides and Heat Waves

Extreme high tides will be followed by extreme temperatures and fire conditions.

Thursday, Nov 13, 2008  |  Updated 5:02 PM PDT
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High Tides and Heat Waves

Artie Ojeda

Flags blow in high winds in Valley Center.

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Did you get your feet wet?  You did if you were walking on the beach early this morning. 

In fact, there probably wasn't much beach on which to walk with the extreme high tides and larger than normal surf.  The combination has prompted a "coastal flood advisory" through Thursday.  Thanks to the gravitational pull of the big full moon our morning high tides are some of the highest of the year, well above 7 feet.  This condition is expected to last through Saturday.  The 3'-5' waves we're seeing today should die down by Thursday afternoon however.

Meantime, to our north, we're seeing a strong ridge of high pressure develop.  This should result in weak off-shore flow Thursday, signifying the early stages of a strong Santa Ana event.  By Friday and Saturday, highs in the warmest valleys will soar into the low 90s.  On top of the heat, we'll see strong, gusting winds that could reach 35 mph in the valleys and exceed 50 mph in the mountains.  Blowing in from the northeast, those winds will drive humidity levels down to critically low levels, below 10 percent in some cases.

This means an extreme potential for the spread of wildfires from early Friday through Sunday.  No Red Flag warning has been issued as yet, just a "fire watch advisory", but, should conditions develop as expected, there is little doubt we'll see the Red Flag Warning go up sometime tomorrow.

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