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    High Winds Impact Millions Behind Blizzard

    By By Meghan Evans, Meteorologist
    December 13, 2010, 2:48:36 AM EST

    High winds will continue lashing a large part of the Plains and Midwest today behind a blizzard that hammered southern Minnesota and Iowa on Saturday, causing more major travel disruptions, damage, and dangerous cold.

    Widespread winds gusting to 30-40 mph with local gusts higher than 50-60 mph will impact dozens of states from Michigan to Minnesota, and from Ohio into Missouri.

    Major cities on the edge of the snow like St. Louis will deal with significant blowing of snow that could interfere with travel. Snow accumulations in both of these cities are expected to be light with around a coating to an inch.

    Even where snow does not fall, the winds will be strong enough to cause dangerous travel for high profile vehicles like semi trucks and campers. Motorists who travel along the following interstates will deal with the high winds this weekend: I-20, I-35, I-40, I-44, I-70, and I-80.


    Many flights could also be delayed even hundreds of miles away from the center of the storm due to high winds, impacting thousands of travelers.

    Besides major impacts to travel, the gusty winds could cause sporadic damage like downing trees and/or power lines.

    Large tree limbs were downed and blocking the lane of a highway in Bird City, Kan., on Saturday morning.

    Other incidences of trees falling onto roadways and causing disruptions are likely with winds of this magnitude blowing across such a large area. Any cars or houses that lay in the path of falling trees could suffer damage, while lives of people in the path of falling trees will be in danger.

    "In many places [in the eastern half of the country], if actual temperatures don't fall below zero, brutal winds will make it feel that way with life-threatening conditions resulting," according to AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Heather Buchman.

    The high winds will result in dangerous AccuWeather.com RealFeel® temperatures for many major cities into the upcoming week, including Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C, Chicago, Indianapolis, and Minneapolis.

    The blustery, cold winds will also trigger tremendous amounts of lake-effect snow for the Great Lakes snow belts early in the upcoming week. the winds will then pick up and blow the powdery snow around, creating whiteout conditions at times.

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