HIGH WINDS PICKING UP TODAY

HIGH WINDS have begun to increase early this Monday afternoon, with NW gusts over 50 reported near Whitewater. Also, 30-45 mph gusts from the SSW have started to materialize near some southern canyons, such as Cathedral City Cove, Rancho Mirage/Magnesia Cove/ Thunderbird areas) and South Palm Desert from El Paseo south toward Bighorn. Gusts (shown in red) as of about 11:45a include:

As expected, the winds are erratic and localized, as rotors continue to cause wind shifts in some areas, especially Central Palm Springs near the airport. This is likely keeping the tower very busy as they adjust arrival/departure patterns back and forth according to wind shifts. Fortunately, gusts have remained under 30mph thus far at the airport, but will likely increase further as the day wears on.

The forecast from yesterday remains largely intact. Periods of strong winds will continue into early Tuesday, likely peaking later this afternoon through late tonight before diminishing some tomorrow. Many areas will see winds 40-50, but there still remains a chance severe and damaging gusts near 70-80 may occur at times. If these gusts do in fact surface, this will quickly cause large areas of blowing sand, dust and debris to occur. The highest chances of these type of gusts occurring appears from about 3p-12 midnight tonight.

Partly cloudy skies and periods of windy conditions may last into Wednesday or Thursday, with less intensity... mostly in the 20-35 mph range, in the normally affected areas along the I-10 corridor. Some scattered light showers or mountain snow showers are possible, but mostly dry conditions are unfortunately expected for the Coachella Valley.

Next weekend will warm back into the upper 80's - low 90's once again, as another high pressure system build into Southern California. Pool weather will return soon!

Long range forecasts have also removed next week's stormy pattern from Southern California, pushing the storm track once again further north into Central and Northern California. This may expose our area to periods of winds and cooler weather, but the hopes for one last storm sequence for the dry southern portion of our state seems less and less likely. What a bummer.

Be careful out there today and tonight! Fingers are crossed we don't see too many gusts over 50. If we do - expect the usual suspects may see travel delays or closures (Indian Canyon, Gene Autry Trail and Vista Chino at the wash). More updates later if things get wild around here!