Weather service clocks winds of 40 mph at Sacramento airport

At 4 p.m. Saturday, the National Weather Service clocked wind gusts of 40 mph at Sacramento International Airport, but it could get worse before morning.

“The party is just getting started,” said Johnnie Powell, Sacramento-based meteorologist, “so it could get worse.”

As of 4 p.m., most flights at the airport had arrived and departed on time. Powell said he and his colleagues put out advisories earlier Saturday for high-profile vehicles such as pick-up trucks, recreational vehicles and trailers, warning them that gusts will make driving difficult and care should be taken on causeways and other bridges.

“The winds will continue to be the strongest over the west side of the valley and will be the last area to subside,” meteorologists said in their advisory. “In the mountains winds will be increasing this evening before subsiding Sunday morning.”

The high winds could cause some power outages, Powell said, but it’s not likely to be as severe as when strong winds mix with rain. The two forces combined often lead to falling trees or tree branches toppling power lines.

The peak winds should blow through the capital by around midnight, but winds won’t abate in points north of Sacramento until the wee hours of the morning. Sunday, Powell said, the region can expect a mostly sunny day with light winds less than 10 mph.

Cathie Anderson: 916-321-1193, @CathieA_SacBee