VERY STRONG STORM STILL ON TRACK FOR FRIDAY-EARLY SATURDAY

A few updates on the high-impact storm expected to hit Friday-Saturday....

LATEST WARNINGS:

High Wind Warning - the National Weather Service predicts a high probability of high winds Friday - early Saturday. The highest winds are expected between 2pm Friday and about midnight Friday. There is a high probability that winds will gust to 60 mph or more, especially late Friday afternoon and Friday night. Now is the time to secure patio furniture or other loose items that could become airborne during strong winds. * I should note - high winds from the south are often blocked by the nearby mountains. There is always the possibility the winds will not descend to the valley floors. However, with such incredible energy associated with this rapidly developing storm, the possibility exists for strong and even damaging winds across the Coachella Valley, as well as the nearby mountains, high deserts, and even across the Inland Empire.

Flash Flood Watch - the National Weather Service has issued a flash flood watch for the possibility of intense rainfall and rapid rises of washes. Rainfall could become heavy Friday through early Saturday morning, with scattered showers or thunderstorms lingering into late Saturday. There is a high likelihood that many roads could be temporarily closed, such as Indian Canyon, Gene Autry, Vista Chino, Cathedral Canyon, among others.

Winter Storm Warning - the National Weather Service expects 1-2 feet of snow above 7,000 feet by Saturday evening. Lesser amounts will fall above 5,500 feet. Anyone traveling to Idyllwild, Big Bear, Lake Arrowhead or other communities should be prepared for white out conditions, zero visibility and wind gusts that may exceed 80 mph at the height of the storm. Travel will be hazardous and some roads may close.

POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS STORM

The low pressure system is expected to rapidly deepen as it approaches Southern California on Friday. Computer models are almost off the charts with the rapid intensification of the storm that is predicted - a process called cyclogenesis. It has the potential of being one of the windiest storms to hit Southern California in a very long time. Some areas of the Coachella Valley could possibly be shielded by the nearby mountains, but other areas may experience dangerous gusts, making travel dangerous. Areas of blowing dust could occur before the rain begins. The heaviest rainfall is expected between about 4 pm - midnight tomorrow.

Use caution traveling Friday and Friday night. Rainfall is expected to be more scattered and less widespread by Saturday.

Dry weather is expected Sunday, with a moderate chance of lighter rain perhaps next Monday and next Wednesday.