Weather News

‘Relentlessly blowing’ winds are blasting SLO County. Here’s how long they’ll last

High winds bring down tree in San Luis Obispo

A tree at Brian and Ariana Spaulding's home in San Luis Obispo was blown over by high winds overnight. There were no injuries, and damage to their neighbor's home on Lobelia Lane appeared minor.
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A tree at Brian and Ariana Spaulding's home in San Luis Obispo was blown over by high winds overnight. There were no injuries, and damage to their neighbor's home on Lobelia Lane appeared minor.

High, “relentlessly blowing” winds buffeting San Luis Obispo County are expected to last at least through Friday, according to PG&E meteorologist John Lindsey.

By late Tuesday morning, wind gusts reached 47 mph at Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant near Avila Beach, Lindsey said.

“It’s blowing like crazy,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of wind. You wouldn’t want to be on the ocean right now, it’s really, really rough.”

Along the coast, moderate gale-force to fresh gale-force winds at speeds ranging from 32 to 46 mph and gusts reaching up to 55 mph are forecast to develop Tuesday, Lindsey said.

Lindsey said there’s a possibility of downed trees as a result of the wind.

“Not only are the soils damp, but the trees are really heavy now,” he said. “They’re heavy because they’ve sucked up all this moisture (from winter rains). At this time of year, limbs come down and sometimes trees topple over if the winds are strong enough.”

Lindsey said winds along the coast are expected to peak at about 6 p.m. Tuesday. Winds are forecast to continue through Friday. There will be a short break Saturday before winds pick up again, Lindsey said.

Though the winds will be blowing, the heavy rains of winter will remain a distant memory. Skies are forecast to remain mostly clear during the week, and temperatures are expected to be below average, Lindsey said.

The winds were strong enough Tuesday that the National Weather Service issued two separate wind advisories for coastal areas and SLO County’s interior mountains and valleys. By Wednesday, the advisories were no longer in effect.

The county’s Air Pollution Control District, along with the county Public Health Department, have issued a “better breather” alert in the Oceano Dunes and Nipomo Mesa area that is in effect through Friday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day.

The alert was sent out because blowing dust and sand is expected to cause air quality to deteriorate, the agencies said.

Dust is expected to peak from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., and county officials recommend that people stay inside as much as possible and reschedule outdoor activities to a time when no dust is visible in the air.

“Very sensitive individuals such as infants, as well as children and adults with existing respiratory or heart conditions, may experience adverse health effects during blowing dust periods,” officials said in the release.

The winds will keep up into next week as well. Strong to gale-force winds at speeds ranging from 25 to 38 mph are forecast to develop from Sunday into next Wednesday, Lindsey said.

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