The wind is forecast to kick up this afternoon in the Mid-Columbia, causing blowing dust across roads in some areas and raising the risk of wildfires.
Winds are expected to be strongest between 2 and 6 p.m. as a low pressure system moves inland from the coast, according to the National Weather Service.
Winds in the Tri-Cities could reach sustained speeds of 23 mph with gusts up to 32 mph. Winds should start to die down after 8 p.m.
Although relative humidity will remain at 20 to 30 percent, the wind alone may be enough to quickly spread a fire through dry grass and brush.
Drivers caught in blowing dust across highways should slow down and pull completely off the road if dust severely limits visibility. After stopping, lights should be turned off and flashers turned on.