Originally Posted by GolfGuy
...Has anybody else ever encountered those kinds of winds before?
Yes, on Interstate 5 through a wind-driven firestorm in Orange County, October 2007.
I was reasonably sheltered from the winds until a few miles after "turning the corner" at San Juan Capistrano. Suddenly, I got a view of the nearby hills, covered with flames, accompanied by a dramatic change in the wind. The flames were being blown right at the freeway.
Blasts of wind hit me from both sides. According to later reports, gusts exceeded 85 mph. Orange cones, which had been used to close the exits, were blowing across the freeway, along with ash, embers, and other debris. Cars and trucks were all over the four-lane road, and so was I. Most people drove single file, because nobody could stay in the lanes. I saw several wheels lift off the road briefly, but nobody rolled over. Stopping or turning around were not reasonable options. Pucker factor: 11.
Conditions improved once I got past the fires. The winds were still fierce, but manageable, especially after I reached a point where the wind was behind me. Quite frankly, I was lucky to make it home safely.