MODESTO — Gusty winds throughout the Northern San Joaquin Valley fanned fires, kicked up dust and felled trees Thursday.
Though the biggest winds were concentrated a little to the north of here there were reports of scattered power blackouts in the Sacramento area the National Weather Service issued a hazardous weather warning to the greater area of interior Northern California. A red flag warning in the foothills and the Sacramento Valley brought increased staffing at fire stations operated by the state Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
But the Modesto area saw its share of windy conditions, as well, particularly in the morning hours, when the gusts toppled signs at the Modesto Certified Farmers Market.
A tree split in two and damaged four cars in the faculty/staff parking lot south of the Morris Building on the Modesto Junior College East Campus, MJC Vice President Susan Kincade said. There were no injuries, and a school crew expected to have the debris cleaned up by the afternoon, she said.
In Ceres, a branch clipped a Turlock Irrigation District line near Moffett and Turner roads south of town, TID spokeswoman Michelle Reimers said. The incident happened at 10:22 a.m. She said crews restored power by 12:20 p.m.
The wind also hampered the efforts of firefighters battling a blaze near Interstate 5 in the Stockton area Thursday afternoon.
Forecasters predicted continued breezy conditions Friday, though the gusts should come with a little less intensity. Wind gusts up to 35 mph are expected to give way to breezes of about 10 mph. Fridays high is predicted to top out at 74 degrees, with a slight warming trend over the weekend, when highs are expected to climb to the mid to high 80s.