Storm brings strong winds, heavy rain and some snow to Midwest, Northeast
A spiraling low pressure system will continue to deliver a trifecta of inclement weather to portions of the Great Lakes and Northeast through Thursday. Those impacts include strong winds, locally heavy rainfall that will contribute to commuting hassles, and even a little snow.
Strong winds from the storm system have already caused scattered power outages in several states, including parts of Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut and Virginia.
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Let's break down the impacts below starting with the winds.
The main threat of strong winds through Thursday will come from two different sources.
Check out pictures from the heavy rainfall:
First, bands of rain and thunderstorms are producing strong wind gusts ahead of a cold front across parts of the Eastern Seaboard from New Jersey to parts of New York and New England. The strong wind gusts over 50 mph may lead to some power outages and downed trees and limbs into Thursday morning.
Locations with the greatest chance for damaging wind gusts are shaded red on our thunderstorm forecast map. However, strong wind gusts are also possible in the areas shaded orange. In areas farther north, these strong gusts may occur simply with bands of rain without lightning.
Wind gusts as of Wednesday night had reached 53 miles per hour at Huntington, Vermont and 52 miles per hour at Warwick, Rhode Island.
In addition, the pressure gradient around the large-scale low pressure system pivoting into eastern Canada will produce strong winds over a larger area of the Plains, Midwest and Great Lakes overnight. Those strong winds will persist over the Great Lakes through Thursday.
Most locations will see sustained winds of 20 to 30 mph with higher gusts. However, even stronger winds with gusts in excess of 60 mph are possible along the east and southeast shores of Lakes Erie and Ontario. The National Weather Service continues high wind warnings for some of those locations. Tree damage, power outages and lakeshore flooding are possible.
Wind advisories and high wind warnings have also been issued in parts of New York and New England. Wind gusts up to 60 mph in coastal Maine may lead to power outages and downed tree limbs.
(INTERACTIVE: Wind Alerts Map)
Locally Heavy Rain Lingers
Steady rainfall, heavy at times, will continue to spread through the coastal Mid-Atlantic region and Northeast into early Thursday. Here's an overview of the forecast timing showing when you can expect travel hassles.
Thursday: Lingering showers and isolated thunderstorms will exit eastern New England by mid to late morning. A few additional showers may move through eastern New York and New England later in the day. Lake-effect rain or snow bands are possible in the northern and eastern Great Lakes.
The powerful low-pressure system will allow some colder air to sweep through the Midwest into Thursday. It's not an unusually cold air mass for late October, with high temperatures about 5 to 10 degrees below average in most spots across the region.
However, the combination of strong winds and chilly temperatures will produce wind chill values in the 10s and 20s across parts of the Upper Midwest and northern Plains Thursday morning.
However, just enough moisture and cold air may combine to bring snow or a rain-snow mix to parts of the Upper Midwest into early Thursday. Any slushy accumulations should be minor, and confined to elevated or grassy surfaces in North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
Other parts of the North Star State were also coated with an inch or two of fresh powder on Wednesday.
Temperatures will quickly turn milder by this weekend across the Midwest, with high temperatures rising above average.
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