Saturday, January 06, 2007

High Winds Cancel Balloon Event.

Palm trees swayed, hot air balloons were grounded and pedigrees ran loose
because of high winds that wreaked havoc on the Coachella Valley on Friday.
Winds coming from Nevada reached about 46 mph in Thermal and possibly 60 mph
in the high desert, National Weather Forecaster Brandt Maxwell said.

Clouds of sand blew across Interstate 10, into traffic.

Winds were especially bothersome to pedestrians.
Just the other day a balloonist here in South Africa said balloon ride
flights are happening in stronger and stronger winds.

Is it pilots getting more experienced and hence better able to see trouble
coming or are the winds increasing generally??

This from the Desert Sun............

"I wish it were summertime," Desert Hot Springs resident Bernice Mendoza,
40, said as she wrapped her arms around her body to keep warm outside the
Palm Springs Wal-Mart.

The high winds caused problems throughout the Coachella Valley Friday:

Power outages or interruptions affected about 2,000 valley residents. The
largest area that lost power, with 129 customers affected, was in Desert Hot
Springs, west of West Drive and south of Avenida Ladera. A snapped pole
caused that outage, Southern California Edison spokesman Tom Boyd said.

About 1,400 Imperial Irrigation District customers in Sky Valley and Indio
near Avenue 49 lost power Friday afternoon, spokeswoman Marion Champion
said. Power in those areas was later restored.

The balloon launch at the Ford Trucks Red, White and Blue Polo & Balloon
Festival was canceled.

Tents at the Kennel Club of Palm Springs dog show blew down, allowing some
dogs to temporarily escape. The event was canceled for the day.
High winds also were capable of sending dust particles into the air, leading
to valley fever, forecaster Stan Wasowski said. It could lead to respiratory
problems, regardless of whether someone is in the middle of the desert or a
city, he said. What's coming today?

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