Windy forecast triggers Health Watch, Red Flag Warnings

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by azfamily.com

Video report by April Warnecke and Ryan O'Donnell

Posted on May 6, 2014 at 6:57 AM

Updated Thursday, May 8 at 10:31 AM

VALLEYWIDE -- Plan on a windy day today as a low-pressure system moves through the state from the Pacific.

The winds are expected to pick up in the late morning and early afternoon hours. Rain is not likely.

"By this afternoon, we're looking at 15-25 mph winds out of the southwest," 3TV meteorologist April Warnecke said. Gusts could get up to 35 mph.

Due to the strong winds today and low relative humidities across Southwest and south-central Arizona, Red Flag Warnings will be in effect starting late this morning through the afternoon hours.

There also is a Health Watch for the Valley because of the potential for blowing dust.

"'Health Watch' means the highest concentration of pollution may approach the federal health standard," according to the Maricopa County Air Quality Department. "Unusually sensitive people should consider reducing prolonged or heavy outdoor exertion during a health watch."

A watch is a step below a "High Pollution Advisory," in which pollution might exceed the federal health standard.

With the Health Watch in effect, county officials advise people to cut back on driving as much as possible, avoid using gas-powered lawn and garden equipment, and not use wood stoves or fireplaces.

With the cold, dry storm moving through, the high will top out in the mid-80s. Tomorrow will be even cooler with a high in the high 70s.

The cooler air will drop the highs to below-average for the next couple of days. Dry and warmer weather is forecast starting Friday lasting through the weekend as highs climb back into the 90s across the lower deserts.

Phoenix weather forecast: Windy spring storm

Related: Weather Conditions in Your Neighborhood

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