Strong winds clouded the skies with dust and sand Thursday and bent trees in the Coachella Valley. Winds reached 30 mph -- with gusts of up to 40 mph -- in Palm Springs, according to the National Weather Service.
The California Highway Patrol urged drivers to use caution. The dust blew through in the late afternoon and made visibility very low. The National Weather Service issued a blowing dust advisory for the valley -- in effect until 7 p.m. -- warning that visibility could be reduced to near zero.
Conditions are expected to improve Thursday evening, according to the advisory.
The South Coast Air Quality Management District also issued an advisory,
stating that the winds caused particle concentrations to reach ``unhealthy''
levels, and that people should avoid outdoor exertion.
There were no immediate reports of injuries or serious damage.