Tree-bending Santa Ana winds persisted throughout the Inland Empire Thursday, with forecasters predicting no let-up until Friday afternoon, and then additional windstorms next week.

“The offshore flow will continue, with periods of gusty northeast to east winds along and below the mountains,” the National Weather Service said in a statement. “The next round of relatively stronger and more widespread winds is expected late tonight into Friday morning.”

A wind advisory is in effect until 12 p.m. Friday. The NWS said to expect northeast winds averaging 15 to 25 mph, with localized peak gusts to 50 mph.

On Wednesday, the winds wreaked havoc in some locations, snapping trees, bringing down utility lines and creating driving hazards.

At Riverside Municipal Airport, controllers issued wind shear alerts for all incoming and outgoing flights, with gusts between 30 mph and 40 mph at the surface of the airfield. The winds were slightly lighter at the airport Thursday, generally holding between 20-25 mph, controllers said.

At Cal Baptist University, a large pine tree broke in two during intense gusts shortly before noon Wednesday, damaging a two-story campus dormitory. No students were injured, though 17 were temporarily displaced because of the fallen tree, most of which landed on the side of the building.

Several high pressure systems are rotating over the Great Basin in Nevada and Utah, fueling the Santa Anas. The ridges are originating from the northwest and anchoring over the Basin at intervals, according to prognostication charts published by the Weather Service.

The agency’s forecasts show additional highs moving into the area early next week, churning up more easterly flows into Southern and Central California.

“Another round of relatively stronger winds is expected for Sunday night into Monday, with mostly advisory strength winds in the windier locations,” the NWS stated. “The following round of stronger winds may occur around Tuesday night and Wednesday. Winds with this round may be a little stronger than for Sunday night and Monday.”

According to the agency, high temperatures in the Riverside metropolitan area will be in the mid 60s, with peak temps in the mid 70s over the weekend. Lows will generally be in the low 40s.

In the Coachella Valley, highs will hover in the mid to upper 60s for the rest of the week, with lows around 45, and in the Temecula Valley, the highs will closely align with the Riverside area, with lows in the upper 30s.

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