Powerful Wind Storm Wednesday
A strong storm system will track from the central United States on Tuesday into the Great Lakes on Wednesday, following the favored track for past significant wind events in our region.
The strongest winds are expected to be after the storm system’s cold front moves through Wednesday morning, continuing into Wednesday afternoon.
The map above represents the expected maximum wind gusts across the region. Most areas should see gusts of at least 55 mph, with many areas gusting over 60 mph.
A favored belt from Buffalo to Rochester and along the shore of Lake Ontario will have the potential to gust to 70 mph or more.
For comparison, a thunderstorm is classified as severe when winds reach 58 mph. In essence, therefore, these winds will be similar to a severe thunderstorm that lasts several hours across the entire region.
As such, areas of tree damage and power outages are likely. High profile vehicles may also have difficulties, especially along I-90 west of Rochester.
These winds will come from the southwest. By the evening hours, the wind will decrease, with 35 to 45 mph wind gusts overnight.
Wind is highly dependent on the surrounding terrain, tree cover, buildings, and many other microscale variables. Therefore, not every location will see the maximum potential winds.
Other Storm System Impacts
The first impacts of this storm system will begin to be felt as early as Tuesday morning.
While the storm itself is just taking shape this morning over Oklahoma and Kansas, a large surge of warm air is already moving north through the eastern half of the nation.
Out ahead of this warm front, clouds and rain have developed across the Ohio Valley and are tracking northeast.
Rain should arrive in the Finger Lakes this morning and continue on and off through the afternoon. A few heavier downpours could develop and a rumble of thunder or two is not out of the question.
The rain will taper to scattered showers and possibly a couple of thunderstorms this evening and overnight.
Temperatures during the daytime hours on Tuesday will hover around 40 degrees. During the evening, warm air will start to move in from the southwest as winds begin to increase. Overnight wind gusts could start to approach 50 mph at times, mostly over higher elevations.
A brief period of temperatures in the 50s will pass through during the early part of Wednesday morning before the cold front moves through.
The damaging winds will develop behind the front with scattered rain showers turning to flurries by the afternoon as temperatures drop into the 30s.
A few areas of lake effect snow will develop on Thursday as winds turn towards the northwest. A few isolated locations could see an inch or two.
Winds on Thursday will continue to gust over 30 mph with highs only in the mid 30s.
Second Wind Event Friday
A second storm system will then target the area on Friday. This storm, too, will follow a track favorable for strong winds in the Finger Lakes.
At this time though, this system is not expected to be as strong, with winds more likely in the 40-50 mph range.
Precipitation will move in Friday morning, possibly starting as snow before turning to rain.
Some additional snow showers will be possible Friday evening into Saturday morning as the system pulls away.
Temperatures may briefly rise into the mid and upper 40s on Friday, with highs Saturday around 40 degrees.
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