San Diego firefighters remain on alert even though Santa Ana winds are not expected to be as strong as they were Wednesday.
Gusts below the mountain passes should peak early during afternoon, remaining below 35 mph, then lessen considerably by the evening.
That, however, is the good news. High temperatures should be just as hot and maybe even a degree or two warmer during Thursday afternoon. Highsin the warmest spots should be at least in the mid 90s, and many areas could top out near 100 degrees or higher. On top of that, humidity levels in the valleys and mountains will remain critically low, and conditions are not expected to improve until next week.
Over the weekend, San Diegans can expect only slight day-to-day cooling in East County, though the marine layer should return to the coast by Saturday night.
Currently, the red-flag warning -- which designates a heightened danger of wildfires -- is scheduled to expire at 11 p.m. Friday. However, because temperatures will remain warmer than normal and humidity levels drier than normal, the deadline could be extended into the weekend.