High Winds To Follow Late-week Storm In Parts Of Ohio Valley, Great Lakes
A powerful cross-country storm, which will unleash heavy rain, snow and severe thunderstorms across the United States this week, will also produce strong, damaging winds in parts of the Midwest and Northeast on Friday and Saturday, according to AccuWeather forecasters.
The wind gusts, which are forecast to exceed 50 mph over nearly two dozen states and Washington, D.C., will come as the storm begins to exit the country late this week and early this weekend. A smaller area that encompasses much of the eastern Great Lakes, upper Ohio Valley and central Appalachians could experience gusts approaching hurricane force (over 73 mph), threatening widespread power outages in those regions.
The threat of strong winds and power outages comes less than a week after another significant storm unleashed wind gusts of 50 to 70 mph in parts of the region on Saturday. In a few counties in Ohio and western Pennsylvania, thousands remain without power from that event as of Wednesday morning, according to PowerOutage.us.
Gusty winds will be a concern as soon as Friday afternoon and evening in the Plains from eastern New Mexico and western Texas north through portions of Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska. This is an area of the country more accustomed to strong winds in the wake of a storm system, but AccuWeather meteorologists are still concerned about the threat of damage and even blowing dust or wildfires.
While rain, snow or thunderstorms may accompany the strong wind in some areas, in many cases, the gusts will occur without precipitation, mainly because they will be strongest in the wake of the storm.
AccuWeather experts have been examining forecast data since early this week indicating that there will be very strong winds in the upper part of the atmosphere, which can be more easily translated down to the ground around storm systems.
“Very strong winds a few thousand feet up in the atmosphere, on the order of 50 to 70 mph, can be brought down to the ground,” said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Adam Douty. “Power outages and tree damage are possible, and any loose objects can blow around.”
The AccuWeather Local Storm Max™ will be 90 mph with this wind event, which is the same as in the area forecast to experience severe thunderstorms on Friday around the Mississippi Valley.
As was the case with the last round of strong winds, power outages could last for days in areas that sustain significant damage to the power infrastructure. Businesses and residents who lose power and need to use gas-powered generators to restore electricity are advised to run the machines outdoors in a well-ventilated area.
Millions in the metropolitan areas of Baltimore, Buffalo, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Detroit, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, New York City and Washington, D.C., will be impacted. Strong crosswinds will also impact travel in the area to close out the week and start the weekend, including on portions of interstates 64, 70, 71, 76, 80, 81, 90 and 95.
Winds should diminish by early Saturday night across the Ohio Valley, according to Douty. “However, they can linger longer into Saturday night across parts of the Northeast and mid-Atlantic,” he said.
Another strong storm will cross the country next week and could unleash more powerful winds from Monday night through Wednesday in the Midwest and Northeast, according to AccuWeather forecasters.
Produced in association with AccuWeather