Santa Ana winds expected throughout region today

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

RIVERSIDE (CNS) – Gusty Santa Ana winds are expected throughout Riverside County Wednesday and could prove hazardous for high-profile vehicles traveling through mountain passes, according to the National Weather Service.

The agency issued a high wind warning that will be in effect from 6 a.m. today to noon Friday in the Riverside metropolitan area, the Riverside County mountains and the San Gorgonio Pass near Banning.

A wind advisory will be in effect in the Coachella Valley from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. today.

Winds moving in from the north and northeast are expected to reach speeds between 20 and 30 mph, with isolated gusts of 70 mph possible along mountain ridge tops, forecasters said. Winds in the Coachella Valley will be between 20 and 30 mph, with gusts reaching up to 55 mph.

The winds are not expected to elevate the risk of wildfires because humidity levels are around average and brush in the region is not critically dry, according to the NWS.

NWS officials warned that winds 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, especially along I-15 and I-215 near the Cajon Pass and I-10 through the San Gorgonio Pass.

The winds are expected to peak tonight before calming down slightly on Thursday and Friday, forecasters said. Weaker winds will persist through Saturday.

High temperatures Wednesday could reach 70 degrees in Riverside, 73 in the San Gorgonio Pass, 77 in the Coachella Valley and 68 in Temecula and 70 in Hemet.