RIVERSIDE, Calif. -

Strong winds were expected in the Coachella Valley and in the mountains of Riverside County tonight.

``A deepening trough of low pressure moving inland across the west coast and strengthening onshore surface pressure gradients this afternoon into Wednesday, will bring gusty southwest to west winds in the mountains and deserts,'' according to a National Weather Service advisory.

Local wind gusts could reach 55 miles per hour, mainly below the Banning Pass and on the favored desert mountain slopes.''

The agency issued a high wind watch from this evening to Thursday morning for the mountains, desert slopes and foothills, including through the Banning Pass and north of Interstate 10 in the Coachella Valley.

``The winds will make driving difficult, especially for motorists with high profile vehicles,'' the NWS said. ``Watch for broken tree limbs and downed power lines.''

Coachella Valley motorists were also cautioned to watch out for blowing dust and sand.