By City News Service
Temperatures reached 100 degrees in the San Diego County inland valleys and foothills even before lunchtime Sunday, and the heat wave is bringing an increased threat of wildfires.
A strong high-pressure ridge is expected to keep temperatures 10-20 degrees above normal through Tuesday, and the hot, dry conditions have firefighters across the region on alert.
According to National Weather Service gauges, the mercury struck triple-digits on Sunday in Ramona and Valley Center by 11 a.m., with temperatures well into the 90s in nearby areas.
Sunday and Monday were expected to be the hottest days in the spate, according the National Weather Service.
A wispy marine layer will keep beach temperatures in the 80s, and metro temperatures just a few miles from the coast are forecast to top out in the 90s.
The western valleys and foothills could hit 103 degrees, and morning winds out of the east should peak at about 15 mph, with gusts up to 25 mph, before weakening this afternoon, according to the NWS.
Extreme heat is expected in the deserts, where the highs are forecast to range from 106-111 degrees, with overnight lows dipping into the mid 70s and low 80s.
No brush fires were reported in the county on Sunday morning.
Saturday, a wildfire in Ramona burned only about an acre before firefighters quenched it. In Descanso, a two-story home burned to the ground near Poverty Hill Road and Viejas Boulevard and spread to surrounding vegetation, blackening less than 5 acres before it was extinguished.
Health experts recommend drinking plenty of water and avoiding strenuous exercise during the hottest parts of the day. Though a cooling trend is forecast to begin Wednesday, temperatures are expected to stay above normal for several days afterward.