Intense Santa Ana winds are expected to strike again Wednesday evening and Thursday, with gusts in excess of 60 mph possible in some Inland Empire locations, according to forecasters.
“Northeast winds will strengthen Wednesday evening and peak early afternoon on Thursday before weakening Thursday night,” according to the National Weather Service. “Wind gusts in the foothills could be 55 to 70 mph, with gusts in the valleys 25 to 45 mph.”
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 incoming 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 Wednesday and 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.