High wind, rain in forecast

The forecast calls for prolonged, strong winds tonight and rain through Saturday.


WALLA WALLA -- Batten down the hatches.

Another high wind warning has been issued for the Walla Walla area starting tonight.

According to the National Weather Service, a low pressure system and associated cold front will move across the region, resulting in a prolonged period of strong winds. Rain is also likely late tonight through Saturday.

Southerly winds will first increase across the southern Grande Ronde Valley this afternoon ahead of the cold front. Other areas will see winds increase as the cold front approaches this evening, then become quite strong with the front and as it passes overnight.

Potentially damaging winds will continue through most of the daylight hours Saturday.

Sustained winds between 16 and 24 mph are forecast with gusts as high as 44 mph late tonight. Rainfall amounts between one- tenth and a quarter of an inch are possible, according to the weather service.

Windy conditions will continue through Saturday with west winds between 32 and 38 mph and gusts as high as 55 mph, forecasters said. Rain is also likely in the morning, giving way to partly sunny skies and falling temperatures.

This front comes on the heels of an earlier windstorm that moved through Wednesday. A peak gust of 58 mph was recorded at Whitman Mission National Historic Site and wind speeds of 59 mph were reported in Yakima and Pendleton.

A falling tree knocked out power in Walla Walla Wednesday afternoon. Winds also blew down more than 20 road signs on county roads and knocked down trees, said Wayne John, Walla Walla County chief of road operations and maintenance.

The winds also clogged roads in the northern part of the county with tumbleweeds, particularly in the Lyons Ferry area, John said.

Andy Porter can be reached at andyporter@wwub.com or 526-8318.


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