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Strong winds are kicking up in many parts of Southern California and the worst is yet to come in certain spots, like the Inland Empire. High wind warnings have already been issued there for Friday, May 25. Craig Fiegener reports for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on May 24, 2012.
Strong winds have been blowing in many parts of Southern California and they're about to get worse, especially in the Inland Empire.
High wind warnings have already been issued starting Friday, May 25, for the San Bernardino and Riverside County mountains, and the Apple, Lucerne and Coachella valleys.
The warnings will take effect at 11:00 a.m. Friday and run until 4:00 a.m. Saturday.
Forecasters expect winds of 20 to 35 miles per hour Friday afternoon in most of the warning areas, with gusts up to 60 miles per hour.
Near Banning Pass and also north and east of Interstate 10 in the Coachella Valley, the winds will be even stronger -- 35 to 45 miles per hour, with afternoon gusts up to 70 miles per hour.
The winds were already kicking up on Thursday, with wind advisories in effect from Thursday evening through 11:00 a.m. Friday.
Strong gusts made driving a challenge for many motorists.
"These little small cars, they seem to go to the other lane, they get blown to the other lanes," said SUV driver Jesse Gonzales. "I got to be real careful."
Mary Van Gorder was driving along Interstate 10 en route from her home in Prescott, Arizona.
"As we got this way, it got a little bit windier and now it's pretty big gusts," Van Gorder said. "We're ready to turn around and go back home."
But she didn't.
"We've got a wedding to go to," she said.