As a potent storm whips across the southern tier of Canada, opening the door for chilly air in the United States, potentially disruptive winds are poised to roar across portions of the Midwest and Northeast later this week.
The blustery winds will first whip across the Upper Midwest on Thursday before reaching the eastern Great Lakes and northern Appalachians by Friday.
Widespread power outages are not anticipated, but winds can become strong enough to break large tree limbs and cause poorly rooted or diseased trees to topple over. Where this happens, localized power outages can occur in some neighborhoods.
“Frequent gusts between 30 and 45 mph are forecast from eastern Minnesota to northern Ohio, northwestern Pennsylvania, western, central and northern New York state and northwestern New England,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dave Bowers said.
“An AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 60 mph is most likely along the eastern and southern shores of lakes Superior, Huron and Ontario, as well as the Adirondacks of New York state, the northern Green Mountains of Vermont, the northern White Mountains of New Hampshire and much of the southern portions of Ontario and Quebec,” Bowers said.
Delays can occur as the spacing out of aircraft for landing and takeoff is increased for safety concerns. Also, airline passengers may experience slight to moderate turbulence at low and intermediate altitudes.
Blustery conditions are also forecast for the Ohio Valley, central Appalachians and the mid-Atlantic and New England coasts. However, winds are not likely to be as strong as that of the Great Lakes region. Still, minor airline delays can occur due to crosswinds along some of the runways.
Winds may get strong enough to have a negative impact on airline operations with delays possible at secondary and primary hubs from Minneapolis and Chicago to Detroit, Cleveland, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Buffalo, New York.
The gusty winds will cause tricky, if not dangerous, conditions for operators of trucks, buses and other high-profile vehicles, and forecasters say drivers will need to keep a firm grip on steering wheels. Sudden gusts can cause some vehicles to swerve, especially in open areas, over bridges and through gaps of mountains.
Meteorologists also say people in neighborhoods with refuse collection on Thursday or Friday may want to avoid putting recycling bins out and set properly bagged trash out without the trash cans. Strong winds can send empty storage bins and loose trash flying through neighborhoods and into busy streets.
Outside of disruptions from this wind event, the weather may set the stage for ideal conditions for an old pastime. Winds in parts of the Midwest and Northeast, away from the high-gust locations (such as wide open areas, bridges and near gaps between mountains), may provide some good kite-flying conditions. Forecasters warn that you should find a location well away from power lines and roads for this old-time March favorite outdoor activity, with the upcoming weather forecast.
The gusty winds are not expected to wreak havoc on another treasured springtime recreation: viewing the D.C. cherry blossoms. The wind event is not expected to affect budding cherry trees in Washington, D.C. as the peak bloom is still at least a couple of weeks away.
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