High Winds Buffet Coachella Valley, Banning area and Mountains

PALM SPRINGS (CNS) - Strong winds today will buffet the Coachella Valley, the San Gorgonio Pass near Banning and the mountains of Riverside and San Bernardino counties a result of a trough of low pressure moving across California, National Weather Service forecasters said.

A high wind warning signifying the advent of 40-mile-per-hour winds or gusts of at least 58 mph will be in effect until 2 this afternoon in the Coachella Valley, the San Gorgonio Pass and the San Bernardino Mountains in both Riverside and San Bernardino counties until 2 p.m., with the NWS forecasting west winds of between 25 and 35 mph accompanied by gusts of 60 and occasionally 70 mph.

The winds will blow mainly near mountain ridge tops and along desert mountain slopes and into desert areas, forecasters said, adding that the strongest would materialize through this morning, weakening over the course of the day.

``The winds will make driving difficult, especially for motorists with high profile-vehicles. This will impact portions of Interstate 10 through the San Gorgonio Pass and the Coachella Valley .... In the deserts, areas of blowing dust and sand will reduce visibility at times. Watch for broken tree limbs and other debris,'' warned an NWS statement.

The winds began Wednesday. The NWS reported that it recorded wind gusts Wednesday night of 50 mph in the San Gorgonio Pass, 41 mph in the Thermal area of the Coachella Valley and 38 mph in Riverside County mountain areas.

Temperatures, meanwhile, will go down several degrees, with highs forecast to range from 51 degrees in the mountain community of Idyllwild to 83 degrees in Thermal in the Coachella Valley.

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