Winds to howl across northeastern US as pattern-changing storm sweeps through
An approaching winter storm, that will likely fall short of meeting bomb cyclone criteria, will still strengthen enough to generate powerful winds as it sweeps across the northeastern United States and southeastern Canada.
Two moderate storms will merge and become one strong storm while traveling from the middle Mississippi Valley to southeastern Canada this week.
As the barometric pressure falls and the circulation around the storm strengthens, west to northwest winds will dramatically increase from the Midwest to the Northeast spanning late Wednesday through Thursday.
“Gusts between 35 and 45 mph will be common, while the ridges over the central Appalachians and the eastern sides of lakes Erie, Ontario and Huron can experience frequent gusts between 45 and 55 mph,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Brett Anderson said.
“An AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 60 mph is anticipated,” he added.
Even though there have been stronger outbreaks of high winds over the years, there have not been many strong wind events this winter, which will make this event more notable.
The fierce winds will become strong enough to create difficult driving conditions, especially for lightweight and high-profile vehicles as well as challenging landing and takeoff operations at some airports in the region.
Some of the major hubs that can be affected include Detroit, Pittsburgh, New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., Boston and perhaps Chicago.
In addition to flight delays, airline passengers may experience more turbulence than usual, especially on some of the smaller, regional jets which fly at lower altitudes than the larger aircraft traveling from one major hub to the next.
Wind gusts can be strong enough to break weak tree limbs and poorly rooted large trees. Where limbs and trees come down, sporadic power outages can occur.
Homeowners who have trash collection on Wednesday and Thursday should be mindful of the strong winds forecast for the region. Trash cans, recycling bins and loose items within can become projectiles, which can cause bodily injury and property damage.
The cold winds will help to usher in much colder air that is likely to stick around for an extended period of time, unlike much of this winter. The persistent cold flow of air will also unleash one of the more impressive lake-effect snow events of the season as well.
The strongest winds will ease Thursday night, but the overall weather pattern is forecast to remain blustery and cold in general through the weekend.
Keep checking back on AccuWeather.com and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.
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