BARSTOW • Barstow is normally breezy in the fall, but a storm expected to last from Wednesday afternoon through Thursday night is expected to bring howling crosswinds, a chance of rain, and maybe even snow to higher elevations in the Mojave Desert.
Sustained winds are expected to be about 25 to 30 mph, with gusts from 45 to 50 mph in the Barstow area and along Interstate 15, said Justin Gibbs, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. Winds could reach 60 to 70 mph below Mountain Pass near the California-Nevada border.
A wind advisory is expected to begin Wednesday at 4 p.m. and last until 9 p.m. Thursday.
Gibbs said winds are fairly common for this time of year in the desert, but the winds expected during the next two days will be blowing from the north — which could cause dangerous conditions for high-profile vehicles traveling on Interstate 15, since they will be blowing perpendicular to the roadway.
In addition to the winds, the storm will bring a chance of rain to lower elevations, as well as a 50 percent chance of one to three inches of snow possible in Mountain Pass, said Gibbs. Temperatures in Barstow are expected to drop to the 50s for the high temperatures and to the mid-30s for the low temperatures — both of which are lower than normal for this time of year.
"It's going to be pretty unpleasant weather over the next couple of days," said Gibbs.
Caltrans is warning drivers of the conditions, and issued a prepared statement warning drivers of unloaded semi trucks or unloaded trailers to avoid traveling during high winds. Drivers are also advised to slow down, keep both hand on the steering wheel and exit the freeway if they feel unsafe.
Drivers who approach RVs, campers, trucks, buses or trailers being towed are advised to slow down or move over. People are also warned to be look out for blowing debris, fallen electrical wires and fallen branches and trees.
Drivers can check IE511.org or call 511 from the Inland Empire for information about road conditions and closures. People can also visit the Caltrans website or the CHP website .