Wind gusts of up to 90 mph will blow through San Diego County mountains and deserts through 11 p.m. Thursday, according to the National Weather Service.
An urgent weather message was issued by the agency at 5:22 p.m. warning that the winds may damage trees and utility systems, and blinding dust and sand will occur over the deserts.
The strongest winds are expected around 9 p.m. Desert winds are forecast to reach 70 mph, making travel hazardous due to impaired visibility, according to the NWS. Peak gusts of up to 90 mph may hit mountain tops and desert mountain slopes.
The high-wind warning reminds drivers of high-profile vehicles that their rigs are prone to toppling in the conditions.
Other areas impacted by the urgent weather message are Riverside County and San Bernardino County mountains and deserts.
Gusty winds took their toll on Palm Springs Thursday, forcing evacuations at several city attractions, closures of roads, uprooted trees and downed power poles.
A number of flights in and out of Palm Springs International Airport were also delayed due to windy conditions.
In Rancho Mirage, the ANA Inspiration golf tournament was delayed following a smooth morning round of play. Tournament play was cancelled Thursday afternoon and will resume Friday morning.
The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway was closed down at about 4 p.m. Those already atop Mt. San Jacinto were being brought down the mountain, but no more visitors will be allowed up while the wind persists, said tramway spokesman Greg Purdy.
The regular Thursday VillageFest was also among city events cancelled by wind.
Drivers were also advised to avoid North Indian Canyon Drive at the Whitewater Wash Area between Interstate 10 and Tramview Road, which was closed Thursday afternoon due to blowing sand and low visibility.
The wind also knocked out traffic signals at several intersections.
The winds will diminish late tonight, but remain gusty through Friday, according to the NWS.
–Staff and wire reports
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