Strong winds and heavy rain caused a turbulent morning commute in Northern California. The National Weather Service registered wind gusts as high as 40 MPH early Wednesday.
Jim Mathews, the lead forecaster at the National Weather Service in Sacramento, expected about an inch of precipitation in the foothills and a ½ inch in the valley.
“We could see some downed small trees, branches,” said Mathews. “We don’t think the winds will be strong enough to uproot trees or anything severe like that.”
Mathews also warned the weather system is not over.
“There’s more to come,” he said. “There’ll be more showers throughout the day.”
A wind advisory for Northern California, with gusts of 40 MPH or more, was in effect for the Wednesday morning commute. High winds were expected to dissipate by 2 p.m.
The combination of heavy rain and wind could cause considerable difficulty driving as well as the possibility of power outages and downed trees or tree branches.
“Outages caused by limbs, branches…that’s our concern right now,” said SMUD spokesperson Jonathon Tudor. “Wind gusts are not to the point where we expect major problems.”
Tudor said more than 700 residents were affected by power outages as of Wednesday morning. He advised to call 9-1-1 if any downed power lines are visible.
For more information, visit the Cal OES website
“Always stay away from downed power lines if they are in the road or over a tree or anywhere,” he said. “Don’t get anywhere near them.”
In Southern California, strong gusts between 50 to 60 MPH were expected across the mountains and Antelope Valley, according to the National Weather Service. Significant rainfall and snow could linger into Thursday morning.
Call SMUD at (888) 456-7683 or PG&E at (800) 743-5000 for additional information on power outages.