High winds, blowing dust causes low visibility in central AZ - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, Florida-

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High winds, blowing dust causes low visibility in central AZ

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© Jonathan Lowe, CBS 5 News © Jonathan Lowe, CBS 5 News
© Jonathan Lowe, CBS 5 News © Jonathan Lowe, CBS 5 News
PHOENIX (CBS5/AP) -

Hold onto your hats and batten down the hatches as winds are expected to kick up Friday afternoon.

Wind gusts up to 35 mph can be expected in the Valley, and blowing dust in Pinal County along Interstate 8 and I-10 between Phoenix and Tucson could make driving conditions hazardous, said CBS 5 Meteorologist Katie Baker.

State environment regulators issued a high-pollution advisory and ban on wood-burning fires for Friday in metropolitan Phoenix.

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality said the advisory was issued in anticipation of high winds that will stir up a large amount of dust.

A blowing dust warned has been issued for Pinal County until 5 p.m. Friday. Both a wind advisory and blowing dust advisory will be in effect until 6 p.m., in anticipation of the wind, which could gust into the 40-50 mph range in parts of Arizona, Baker said.

The Arizona Department of Transportation is urging people to avoid driving into a dust storm.

The blowing dust advisory is along the Interstate 10 corridor between Casa Grande and Picacho Peak. Drivers are advised to stay alert and look out in all directions because strong winds can result in sudden periods of limited or zero visibility from blowing dust.

On Oct. 29, three people died and more than a dozen others were injured in pile-up along westbound I-10 at milepost 214, north of Picacho Peak.

A few showers will develop late, mainly along and above the Mogollon Rim Friday evening into Saturday. Unfortunately, it still doesn't look good for the possibility of rain in the Phoenix area this weekend, Baker said.

It will be quite a bit cooler with highs Saturday and Sunday in the 70s.

State officials recommend that children and adults with respiratory problems avoid outdoor activities on Friday and suggest that the general public limit outdoor activity throughout the day.

Other recommended steps include cutting down on automobile trips and avoiding use of drive-thru lines and leaf blowers.

Officials say the burn restrictions applies to fireplaces, fire pits and open outdoor burning.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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