RIVERSIDE (CNS) – Gusty Santa Ana winds are expected throughout the Inland Empire Thursday evening and most of Friday, and meteorologists advised motorists to be careful traversing passes and canyons.
According to the National Weather Service, ridges of high pressure stacked up in the Great Basin of Nevada and Utah will influence regional weather patterns, powering easterly winds, which could exceed 50 mph in wind- prone areas.
A Wind Advisory is in effect until 6 p.m. Friday.
“Use extra caution when driving, especially if operating a high- profile vehicle,” the NWS said in a statement.
The agency noted that winds will likely peak “into early Friday, with local gusts of 50-60 mph possible.”
“Gusty winds will begin to subside later in the day Friday and will eventually turn onshore, ahead of a low pressure system on Saturday,” the Weather Service stated.
The high pressure dome drove temperatures into the upper 70s across the IE Thursday. However, the mercury will start a gradual return to the normal winter range this weekend, forecasters said.
According to NWS prognostication charts, a trough of low pressure will drag across the region, with a cold front ahead of it, on Saturday, slowly exiting to the southeast on Sunday night.
Onshore winds are expected to turn gusty as the low trundles toward Arizona.
Precipitation is forecast to be minimal in the inland region, with only a tenth of an inch of rain likely in the Riverside metropolitan area.
Highs in the metro area Friday are expected to top out in the low 70s, with overnight lows in the mid 40s. The highs Saturday and Sunday will be in the low 60s, with lows in the low 40s.
In the Coachella Valley, highs will crest around 70 Friday, with lows in the upper 40s, while on Saturday and Sunday, daytime temperatures will peak in the upper 60s, with lows in the mid-40s.
In the Temecula Valley, the Friday high will be in the lows 70s, with lows in the mid-40s. However, Saturday’s daytime temps will hover in the upper 50s, with lows in the upper 30s, and the same temperature band is forecast for Sunday.
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