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    High Winds for Midwest, Appalachians and I-95

    By , AccuWeather.com Senior Meteorologist
    January 31, 2013; 3:03 AM ET
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    As a powerful front approaches from the Midwest, a strong gust of wind can lead to damagie from the Ohio Valley and lower Great Lakes to the Appalachians and East Coast Wednesday into Wednesday night.

    Soon after a line of thunderstorms formed in the Mississippi Valley Tuesday, a solid zone of strong winds developed near and just to the east of the storms.

    While the upcoming wind event will drive away troublesome fog it will create another wave of travel problems.

    There is the potential for wind gusts in the neighborhood of 40 to 60 mph.

    The winds could cause flight delays due to crosswinds at area airports, low-level turbulence for commuter flights and trouble for vehicles crossing high bridges on major highways including I-95 near the coast. Sporadic power outages are possible from downed tree limbs. (Image and thumbnails by Photos.com)

    As the front swings through, it will also bring thunderstorms and blinding downpours from west to east across the region. The downpours may be intense enough to cause flash and urban flooding. The rainfall, despite its problems will be beneficial for part of the Mississippi River Basin around St. Louis.

    Many of the wind-related problems thus far have been occurring with the sudden wind shift associated with the cold front. However, strong southerly winds can develop ahead of the front along the mid-Atlantic coast early Wednesday evening and especially in southern New England Wednesday night.

    The timing for the storms and downpours would be during the day Wednesday afternoon in the central and southern Appalachians and Wednesday night for western New England, the mid-Atlantic and southern Atlantic coast and finally late Wednesday night and into Thursday morning for eastern New England.

    Arctic air will drive quickly into the Appalachians and the Great Lakes, setting up areas of snow and slippery roadways Wednesday night into Thursday.

    Accumulating snow is not likely to reach east of the Appalachians in this setup, but there can be a few spotty flurries as the cold air settles in during the day Friday.

    Saturday, Feb. 2, known as Groundhog Day, will be brisk and cold at Punxsutawney, Pa., with variable clouds and flurries.

    For those wondering about spring. AccuWeather.com has released its forecast for the upcoming season.

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