Gusty winds, freezing temperatures expected in Riverside County

Gusty winds expected in Riverside County could make driving difficult for high-profile vehicles like semi-trucks. File photo

RIVERSIDE (CNS) – Gusty winds will buffet parts of Riverside County Monday morning and temperatures are expected to plummet tonight, prompting the National Weather Service to issue a freeze warning for the Riverside metropolitan area and the Coachella Valley.

A high wind warning will last until noon today in the Coachella Valley, the San Gorgonio Pass near Banning and the Riverside County mountains.

Winds out of the west are expected to be between 20 and 40 mph in the Coachella Valley, with gusts reaching up to 55 mph, forecasters said.

Winds in the mountains will be between 30 and 45 mph, with 75 mph gusts possible, and winds in the San Gorgonio Pass will be 25 to 35 mph, with gusts reaching 65 mph.

NWS officials warned that the wind gusts could be strong enough to blow around unsecured objects and knock down tree limbs, potentially causing power outages.

Conditions will also be hazardous for high-profile vehicles traveling on highways through mountain passes, especially Interstate 15 and 10, according to the NWS.

A cold front lingering over Southern California will bring freezing temperatures in the Coachella Valley and the Riverside metropolitan area tonight and Tuesday night, forecasters said.

A freeze watch has been issued for both areas, with temperatures potentially dropping as low as 28 degrees.

The freeze warning means the cold conditions will kill crops and other sensitive vegetation and could harm outdoor pets and livestock.

High temperatures today could reach 58 degrees in Riverside, 61 in the San Gorgonio Pass, 66 in the Coachella Valley, 55 in Temecula and 56 in Hemet.