Coachella Valley Braces for Another Weekend of Strong Winds

Residents of the Coachella Valley are preparing for another weekend of intense winds, with gusts potentially reaching 60 to 70 mph in some areas. The strong winds, which began Saturday morning in the northern and western parts of the valley, particularly around San Gorgonio Pass, are expected to intensify and become more widespread throughout the afternoon and evening, leading into a very windy Sunday.

Strong Winds Expected to Peak Saturday Night or Sunday Morning

National Weather Service Meteorologist Casey Oswant said the strongest winds are anticipated near the San Gorgonio Pass and on the north side of the valley, with gusts ranging from 45 to 60 mph and isolated gusts up to 70 mph near Whitewater during the peak. The rest of the Coachella Valley could experience wind gusts anywhere from 30 to 45 mph.

The winds are expected to peak sometime Saturday night or Sunday morning before calming down by Monday. The high winds are likely to create dusty conditions and air quality issues, although not as severe as last Friday when Stagecoach Festival attendees were subjected to heavy dust.

South Coast AQMD has issued a windblown dust advisory for the valley and San Gorgonio Pass, in effect from noon Saturday to 8 p.m. on Sunday, recommending that residents limit their exposure to the outdoors and avoid running fans or swamp coolers that bring in outside air.

Road Closures and Cooler Temperatures Accompany Wind Event

The winds have also brought road closures to the area. In Palm Springs, Indian Canyon Drive closed Wednesday through the Whitewater Wash due to windy conditions and blowing dust, and is likely to remain closed through Sunday.

North Gene Autry Trail was closed as of Saturday evening, while Vista Chino remained open. Despite the inconvenience caused by the winds, residents can look forward to cooler temperatures.

While Saturday’s high is expected to reach the upper 80s, Sunday’s temperatures are forecast to be about 10 degrees cooler, with a high in the upper 70s. However, this reprieve is expected to be short-lived, with highs returning to the 90s in most of the valley by Tuesday and remaining there for much of the week.

Possibility of Triple-Digit Temperatures on the Horizon

Early forecasts and models show potential for temperatures to reach the upper 90s and possibly even break 100 degrees about a week from now, although the forecast uncertainty increases with the extended timeline.

If temperatures do reach triple digits, it won’t be the first time this year in the valley, as the National Weather Service climate site in Palm Springs recorded temperatures above 100 degrees on April 22. Oswant said, “There’s a small chance for it to get into the 100s. It’s something we’re watching.”

Staying Safe and Informed During the Wind Event

As the Coachella Valley continues to brace for the strong winds and potential for even hotter weather in the coming week, residents are advised to stay informed and take necessary precautions to stay safe and comfortable during this weather event.