by Steve Root
Meteorologist for AccuWeather.com
AccuWeather reports as a potent disturbance begins to exit the Great Lakes Friday, gusty winds will continue to reach eastward to the upper part of the Atlantic Coast. These strong winds will have the ability to down tree limbs and power lines. Folks could experience sporadic power outages throughout the day.
Minor structural damage is also possible and loose objects, such as trashcans and deck furniture, could easily be tossed around.
CBS News in New York is reporting high winds may have contributed to a construction-shed collapse in Midtown Friday midday. Gusts from the west of 40 to 50 mph occurred at New York Central Park between 10 and 11 a.m. Gusts may have been higher well above ground level and were likely channeled in between the many buildings at the time.
The alert for high winds was sounded Tuesday, Oct. 29.
Some of the major cities that are at risk include Buffalo; New York City; Philadelphia; Boston; Burlington, Vt.; Portland, Maine; Toronto; and Montreal.
This disturbance created gusty winds Thursday and Thursday night across the Ohio and Tennessee valleys.
Non-thunderstorm wind gusts generally ranged between 50 and 60 mph with a few outliers exceeding 60 mph. There were also reports of strong wind gusts in thunderstorms. However, thunderstorms are not expected in the Northeast Friday.
For those planning on catching a flight, strong winds could lead to delays. Flight restrictions at the major airports in New York City, Boston and Philadelphia are possible Friday and could create a major headache for travelers.
As of Friday morning, winds were causing flight delays of up to three hours at La Guardia Airport and up to two hours at Philadelphia International Airport.
Road travel will be hazardous as well. Large highways, such as I-80, I-90 and I-95, will be at a high risk for gusty winds. These winds will threaten high-profile vehicles such as tractor-trailers and utility vans as they travel down the open highway.
Other motorists should use caution when driving, as well. Wind gusts, especially on open highways, can cause sudden jerks in steering. Drivers should also be alert for wind-tossed objects and falling tree limbs.
Gusts will generally range between 40 to 50 mph. Higher gusts are possible across the open waters of the eastern Great Lakes and along the East Coast from Long Island to Newfoundland.
Flooding near some shorelines is possible, especially near the northern and eastern ends of Lake Erie and Ontario.
Stronger wind gusts will also threaten the higher elevations across the Appalachians and Adirondacks as well gaps between the mountains, open areas and between buildings.
The strongest winds will peak during the afternoon and will gradually lessen through the evening and into the night.