Wind speeds in eastern Riverside County topped 65 miles per hour near the San Gorgonio Pass Friday, and prompted the closure of a major roadway in Palm Springs due to flying sand and debris brought on by the strong gusts.
Whitewater felt the brunt of the gusts traveling through the San Gorgonio Pass, ranging from 55 to 65 miles per hour throughout the day, according the National Weather Service.
The strongest gusts at the Palm Springs Airport were clocked at 43 miles per hour, the NWS said.
Indian Canyon Drive at the wash was closed Friday just before 2 p.m. as a safety precaution for motorists due to high winds blowing sand and debris, limiting visibility. No reopening time was released.
The NWS issued a wind advisory that will end at 5 a.m. Sunday in the Coachella Valley, the San Gorgonio Pass near Banning and county mountains.
Winds speeds are expected to die down slightly after sunset in the Coachella Valley and surrounding areas on Friday, and then pick up again Saturday.
Forecasters said wind speeds are expected to taper off slightly on Saturday, but not much.
NWS officials warned that winds could be strong enough to blow around unsecured objects and knock down tree limbs, potentially causing power outages.
The gusty winds arrived via a low pressure system moving in from the southwest that also brought cooler weather, a trend that is expected to last through Sunday morning.
A chance of light showers is on tap for Friday night through Saturday morning in the Riverside County mountains and Riverside metropolitan area, forecasters said.
There is a 20% chance of measurable precipitation Friday in those two areas, but rain totals are not expected to exceed one-tenth of an inch.
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