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High winds making driving difficult in west Las Vegas Valley

Winds gusting around 40 mph expected in Mountain’s Edge, Summerlin

Updated Thursday, Nov. 12, 2009 | 6:23 a.m.

If you're driving a van, a bus or a truck out in the west part of the Las Vegas Valley this morning, watch out for high winds.

Strong winds were increasing in far west side of the Valley early this morning, prompting the the National Weather Service to issue a wind advisory for the area.

By 5 a.m., a few locations in the northwest part of the valley had already seen gusts around 30 mph, the weather service said. At 5:23 a.m. the weather service reported that its wind advisory would continue until 2 p.m. today for areas of the valley west of Buffalo Drive.

The winds were increasing overnight in the Spring Mountains. As of 5 a.m., the weather service reported gusts of 44 mph at Goodsprings and 35 mph at Red Rock Visitors Center.

Southwest to west winds gusting to at least 50 mph are expected today in Red Rock Canyon, with higher gusts likely in exposed areas in the higher elevations, the weather service said.

Those planning outdoor activities in Red Rock Canyon or the Spring Mountains today should be alert for high winds and consider postponing activities until the winds begin to let up, forecasters said.

The winds were expected to spread downward into the far west side of the Las Vegas Valley, causing gusts to around 40 mph at times, forecasters said.

The areas most likes to be affected include the neighborhoods of Mountains Edge to Summerlin and north toward the Lone Mountain area.

A wind advisory means that sustained winds of 30 to 39 mph or wind gusts of 40 to 57 mph are expected.

Winds that strong can make driving difficult, especially for high-profile vehicles, so drivers are urged to use extra caution.

The winds are part of a storm system moving in the region today that is also bringing a chance of rain and mountain snow tonight mainly to Lincoln and Mohave counties, forecasters said.

Temperatures will be cooler on Friday, with highs reaching the 60s, the weather service said.

Then another storm system will bring even colder air over the weekend, along with the potential for strong north winds.

Today, the Las Vegas Valley will have mostly cloudy skies with west to southwest winds between 13 mph and 18 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph, forecasters said.

Temperatures were starting out at 66 degrees at 5:56 a.m. at McCarran International Airport. The normal morning low for this date is 45 degrees and the record low is 24 degrees, set in 1950

Forecasters expected temperatures to increase to 67 degrees by 9 a.m., to 73 by noon and reach a high of 76 degrees by 2 p.m. today. The normal high for today's date is 67 degrees and the record high is 81 degrees, set in 1973.

Friday's morning low temperature is expected to be 55 degrees and Friday's high will hit 68 degrees around 2 p.m., forecasters said.

Saturday's morning low will be 49 degrees and Saturday's high will reach 65, with gusty northwest winds reaching 20 mph, the weather service said.

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