MyNewsLA photo by Clancy O'Dessky

Damaging high winds are expected in parts of Riverside County Thursday, creating difficult driving conditions and the possibility of downed trees and power lines.

A high wind warning is in effect until 10 p.m. for the valleys and Inland Empire, mountains, and through the San Gorgonio Pass near Banning.

Northeast winds from 30 to 40 mph with gusts up to 65 mph are expected. Isolated gusts up to 75 mph are in the forecast for the foothill areas.

The strongest and most widespread winds will arrive Thursday morning and last through the early afternoon, the National Weather Service said.

Ridges of high pressure bearing down on the Great Basin of Utah and Nevada will drive the offshore wind patterns, prompting the weather service to post a high wind watch from Wednesday evening to Thursday evening.

“Damaging winds could blow down trees and power lines,” the NWS stated. “Widespread power outages are possible. Travel could be difficult, especially for high-profile vehicles.”

The Santa Ana event follows a windstorm that stretched from Sunday night to Monday evening, during which wind speeds averaged more than 20 mph, with gusts between 40 and 50 mph throughout Riverside County.

No significant damage was reported, though a sandstorm did materialize along Interstate 10 in Indio on Monday morning, and traffic was affected by wind-blown objects on multiple other freeways, according to the California Highway Patrol.

There’s no possibility of rain in the region until early next week, meteorologists said.

Daytime temperatures on Thursday in the Riverside metropolitan area are forecast to be in the mid 60s, with lows in the low 40s. In the Coachella Valley, the mercury will top out in the upper 60s during the two-day period, with lows in the mid-40s, while in the Temecula Valley, the temperature band will be analogous to Riverside.

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