Strong Winds Move Into Midwest and Northeast

Posted: March 31, 2023 8:29 am

The storm system that it is moving from California across the country is doing more than just producing massive amounts of precipitation. This force of nature is also ushering in strong winds to parts of the Midwest and Northeast. Read on for more information about the high wind potential on the heels of this storm system.

Widespread Gusts of Over 50 MPH on Tap

The height of the winds will strike on Friday and Saturday. Over 20 states plus Washington, D.C. will be in the crosshairs for these winds as the storm pushes out into the Atlantic Ocean by the weekend. While widespread winds gusts of over 50 mph are in the forecast for a large area, a more narrow zone will see winds that approach hurricane level, defined as over 73 mph. This zone includes the bulk of the eastern Great Lakes, the central Appalachians, and the upper Ohio Valley.

It has been less than a week since the same area saw wind gusts measuring 50 to 70 mph. Some of these communities in Ohio and Pennsylvania are still without power from last week’s severe event.

Timing of Strong Wind

You can expect the winds to really pick up Friday afternoon and evening across the southern Plains from eastern New Mexico and western Texas up through Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska. This part of the country is no stranger to strong winds, particularly during the spring season when storm systems tend to generate these gusts in their wake.

The Midwest and Great Lakes will see the high winds beginning Friday night. By Saturday, the winds will reach the Ohio Valley, the mid-Atlantic, and some portions of the Northeast. The early stage of the wind development will pair with the chance of precipitation, including rain, snow, and storms. However, the tail end of the winds will come at the back end of the storm when the moisture is gone.

Strong winds circulating in the upper levels of the atmosphere will be pulled down to ground level around the spinning storm system. As the winds extend lower, they will bring along the potential of property damage, fallen trees, and power outages.

Forecasters are warning that the power outages could last for several days if the winds also take down key infrastructure pieces. They are also warning that large cities with skyscrapers could experience window blowouts as the winds whip through the urban areas.

Cities under the threat of these damaging winds include Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Chicago, Cleveland, Buffalo, Cincinnati, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, Philadelphia, and New York City. Motorists will want to exercise caution and be aware of the possibility of strong crosswinds on stretches of interstates 64, 70, 71, 76, 80, 81, 90, and 95.

The winds will begin to ease by Saturday evening in the Ohio Valley as an area of high pressure pushes in behind the storm. Unfortunately, this will also bring in chillier temperatures. The high winds may hang on into the overnight hours Saturday into Sunday for the Northeast and the mid-Atlantic.

Another chance of strong winds is in store for the region just a few days later as a new storm system begins to move across the country. The Midwest and Northeast will likely enjoy just a few days of calm conditions before the new batch of gusts start to build late Monday.

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