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Coachella: Rain, wind could dampen festival

April 9, 2012 |  2:55 pm


Festival-goers desperate to cool down during the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival might not have to take turns prancing under misting fans this weekend. Instead, Mother Nature might lend a not-so-helping hand.

A storm system headed for Southern California could bring showers, high winds and low temperatures to the Empire Polo Fields on Friday, where the festival will launch the first of two consecutive weekends with sets from the Black Keys, Swedish House Mafia, Pulp, M83 and many others.

Though the festival is historically known for sweltering desert heat, opening day is expected to bring partly cloudy skies with a chance of rain and strong, gusty winds that could reach 50 mph, according to National Weather Service forecasts.

Friday also looks to be the coolest of the three days with an expected high of 69 degrees and  temperatures dropping down into the 40s after sunset. Highs are expected to reach the 70s on Saturday and Sunday and dip into the low 50s on both nights.

Things could be much worse -- the record high for the area was a piercing 103 degrees back in 1936.

Even if it rains, it's doubtful Coachella will turn into the soggy, muddy playland that the kids at the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival have experienced in years past. And it certainly won’t ground acts like the volcanic ash from Iceland did to a number of bands from overseas at 2010’s festival.


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Photo: The Coachella crowd at night. Credit: Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times