High winds were making driving an adventure over Sierra passes this morning as communities at higher elevations were hit by strong gusts, one recorded exceeding 70 mph.
The blustery conditions are expected to continue today, especially in the mountains where dangerous east-west gusts are predicted.
The wind was less severe in the Sacramento region overnight. Around 12:45 a.m. Friday the wind was gusting to 25 mph at Mather Airport. No widespread power outages were being reported Friday morning in the Sacramento region.
But at higher elevations, winds were blowing at much greater force: At Emigrant Gap, along Interstate 80, a gust of 49 mph was registered at 5 a.m.
At a weather recording station called Duncan, southeast of Emigrant Gap, a gust of 71 mph was reported at 5:18 a.m. Friday.
The winds blew hard in the Bay Area where two weather-related deaths occurred. The Contra Costa Times reported that a man was killed late Thursday in Oakland when a power line fell to the ground and electrocuted him. Later, a motorist in Oakland died as he tried to avoid debris in the road and then hit a tree.
North of Sacramento, in the community of Dobbins, a woman was killed when a tree broke and fell on a car she was sitting in, the Marysville Appeal-Democrat reported.
The National Weather Service predicts tough driving for motorists in the Sierra through early Saturday. Winds are expected to blow Friday at 35 mph at Blue Canyon, with gusts to 60 mph.
Sacramento will be breezy, much like Thursday. Gusts could reach 30 mph.
The detailed, seven-day forecast from the NWS for the Sacramento region:
An interactive forecast can be viewed online at sacbee.com/weather