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    Storm Brings High Winds, Fire Danger to Plains

    By By Brian Lada, Meteorologist
    March 20, 2014, 2:36:33 AM EDT

    Low pressure tracking across the Plains will not only spread snow from Montana to Wisconsin on Tuesday, but also bring an elevated risk of fire danger across the region.

    Strong winds will develop on the back side of this system as it tracks towards the Great Lakes with sustained winds above 25 mph and gusts between 50 and 60 mph possible.

    Areas in the Plains from western Kansas to western Texas are currently in a drought, helping to set the stage for this elevated risk of wildfires.

    The combination of these strong winds and a dry forecast on Tuesday will only contribute to the heightened risk of fires before winds diminish overnight.


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    Such high wind gusts can also make for difficult travel, especially for high profile vehicles that are more susceptible to the stronger winds.

    This can make driving a vehicle such as a tractor trailer very challenging as strong winds can blow the vehicle onto its side.

    Regardless of the type of vehicle, driving will be more difficult as the winds can still create enough force on your car to set you off course if you do not react quick enough.

    Blowing dust may also lead to reduced visibilities, slowing traffic further.

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    White-out conditions are also possible in Wyoming, South Dakota and Nebraska where snow is forecast to fall in addition to the gusty winds.

    The Wyoming department of transportation has already closed multiple roads due to this winter weather.

    This includes I-90 between the towns of Sheridan and Buffalo, as well as Route 20 west of Casper.

    Wednesday looks to bring better travel conditions and a lower risk of fires as the system responsible for the snow and high winds tracks over the Great Lakes.

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