High Winds to Reach Midwest with Chilly Rain

By , Expert Senior Meteorologist
October 18, 2012; 9:50 AM ET
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A storm system responsible for wind gusts near hurricane strength over the Plains on Tuesday will spread of blustery, chilly conditions to the Ohio Valley Thursday. It will feel quite raw in some areas of the Midwest, where rain joins in.

Wind gusts in the neighborhood of 60 mph buffeted the communities of Miles City, Mont., Alliance, Neb., and Rapid City, S.D., Tuesday into Wednesday. Gusts topped hurricane-force speeds in the Rockies.

Gusts of 50 to 60 mph redeveloped Wednesday over portions of the Dakotas and Nebraska including Bismarck, N.D., Huron, S.D., and Omaha, Neb.

As the storm strengthens yet again, powerful wind gusts will sweep into eastern Kansas, across Missouri and into the Ohio Valley region Thursday. Kansas City, St. Louis and Indianapolis will have very blustery conditions as a result.

Just as the weather delayed play for NLCS Game 3 Wednesday in St. Louis with rain and lightning, wind could be a player for a time for Game 4 Thursday evening. West to southwest winds average 15 to 30 mph are forecast with higher gusts.

The winds will be strong enough to break some tree limbs and could cause sporadic power outages.

Crosswinds can be strong enough to affect high-profile and lightweight vehicles. Keep a firm grip on the steering wheel. Crosswinds at some area airports could lead to flight delays.

Loose items will be sent airborne, including trash cans, recycling bins and any lightweight lawn furniture left over from the summer season. Leaves piled up for collection will be re-arranged. (Photos.com image by George Doyle)

The storm will also send a shot of chilly air into the Midwest. It will be a bit of shock for areas in the Mississippi Valley and Plains that recently had highs in the 80s. Temperatures will be 30 degrees lower in some areas Thursday and Friday, compared to earlier in the week.

The area from the eastern part of the Dakotas and western Minnesota and northwestern Iowa could be very miserable with strong wind, chill and periods of rain Thursday.

To make matters worse, during Thursday and Friday, in some locations from Minnesota and Iowa, eastward to Michigan, the chilly showers could be accompanied by a cross between hail and snow, which meteorologists call graupel.

The chill, rain and gusty winds will follow strong to locally severe thunderstorms over part of the lower Mississippi and Ohio valleys Wednesday evening.

Below is a partial list of locations and strong wind gusts observed (miles per hour) during the 24-hour period ending at 8:00 a.m. CDT Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2012.

  • Centennial, Wyo. - 92 mph
  • Loveland Pass, Colo. - 89 mph
  • Missoula, Mont. - 77 mph
  • Riverton, Wyo. - 75 mph
  • Buffalo, S.D. - 69 mph
  • Rapid City, S.D. - 61 mph
  • Alliance, Neb. - 60 mph
  • Signey, Neb. - 55 mph
  • Hettinger, N.D. - 55 mph
  • Garden City, Kan. - 48 mph
  • Liberal, Kan. - 48 mph

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