Following two days of summerlike heat comes a reversal in weather Wednesday and Thursday — temperatures will drop significantly, powerful winds will whip the mountains and deserts, and a chance of showers returns.
NBC 7 Meteorologist Jodi Kodesh said a fast-moving air mass from the north ushered in cooler air Wednesday, dropping temperatures nearly 10 to 15 degrees.
The system began to increase winds Wednesday evening. A National Weather Service (NWS) high wind watch was elevated to a warning set to take effect at 8 p.m. Wednesday. The warning was then extended to last until 8 p.m. Thursday.
While coast and inland valley locations will be very breezy, with wind gusts to 25 mph, mountain and desert cities could see more dangerous winds. The NWS said wind gusts could reach 70 miles per hour.
Westerly winds will be increasing later today, becoming strong and gusty over the mountains and deserts this evening. The winds will be strongest early Thursday before weakening Thursday afternoon. Gusts to 70 MPH or more are possible on the wind-prone desert slopes. pic.twitter.com/bErl3GDEDb— NWS San Diego (@NWSSanDiego) April 11, 2018
Kodesh said by 5 a.m. Thursday, some gusts were already reaching blustery speeds and California Highway Patrol (CHP) officers were warning about dangerous driving conditions on Interstate 8 in the mountains.
By 11 a.m., windy conditions began to pick up along the coastline, affecting communities like Del Mar and La Jolla.
Sustained winds in those areas will come from the west, at 25 to 35 mph. Driving may be difficult as blowing sand and debris may reduce visibility.
"I have already seen gusts this morning in the 50 and 60 miles per hour range; that’s dangerous driving," Kodesh said.
Parts of San Diego County also saw a few light showers Thursday. At about 9 a.m., sprinkles began to fall in Kearny Mesa and Mira Mesa but rain quickly cleared to partly cloudy skies.
"The rain didn’t really amount to anything we didn’t get any measurable rainfall but the winds have certainly caught up to us as expected," Kodesh said.
Kodesh says sunshine and summerlike heat will return by Friday and is expected to stay for the weekend.