High Wind Warning Issued for San Diego County Deserts

Some mild rain sprinkled parts of San Diego County Thursday but meteorologists said wind would be a bigger problem for the region until the system moves out of the area. 

The storm system approached San Diego's coastal towns Thursday morning and moved inland at about 9 a.m. and, while residents reported seeing some sprinkles, no measurable rainfall was yet captured by the National Weather Service (NWS). 

NBC 7 Meteorologist Jodi Kodesh said while a chance of showers lasts throughout the day, rain totals in San Diego County will be mild at best but winds may be a danger from this system. 

A high wind warning was issued for Coachella Valley, San Diego County deserts and San Gorgonio Pass Wednesday with winds expected to increase through early Friday. 

The warning was in effect from 11 p.m. Wednesday through 2 a.m. Friday, according to the NWS.

Winds estimated at 25 to 35 mph were expected with gusts up to 60 mph. Isolated gusts reaching 70 mph were possible. 

By 9 a.m. Thursday, the county had already seen gusts upwards of 40 miles per hour in Julian, Ranchita, Descanso and Boulevard, according to the NWS. Palomar Mountain, Pine Valley and Mount Laguna all saw gusts above 30 mph.

The warning prompted officials with the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival to push the opening of their on-site campground until after the warning expires Friday.

"It is strongly encouraged that you delay your arrival until after weather has passed," festival officials said. 

A wind warning is issued when there are winds at speeds of at least 40 mph or gusts of 58 mph or more. Blowing dust and sand could make for dangerous driving conditions.

Kodesh said gusts are expected to diminish late Thursday night and a weekend warmup will begin. 

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