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Strong winds expected to reach 70 mph along Wasatch Front

Strong winds expected to reach 70 mph along Wasatch Front

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SALT LAKE CITY — If you've lollygagged and left that lawn furniture lingering on the patio or deck, better get moving.

The National Weather Service has issued a damaging wind warning for Wednesday night and Thursday, advising that easterly wind gusts could reach in excess of 70 mph.

Whatever is not nailed down or tied down or otherwise secure could be left blowing in the wind — to your neighbor to the west or beyond.

"There's no question it is going to get windy," said KSL meteorologist Kevin Eubank. "The question is if it is going to get crazy-windy-and-blow-the-signs-down kind of windy or windy that knocks a few branches down."

Particularly vulnerable are areas along the northern Wasatch Front from North Salt Lake to Brigham City, but the rest of the urbanized areas are not immune, including south to Spanish Fork.

Eubank explained that a weak cold front is moving through and as the high pressure vacates, a stalling or swirling low pressure will create an east wind event. The closer the low pressure, the higher potential for nasty, gusty winds.

In the past, winds such as those predicted to hit have caused widespread damage to property and created problems for interstate travel and railroad operations.

Wind records in Utah are: 124 mph at high elevation at Hidden Peak, Nov. 8 1986; 120 mph at mid-level elevation at Bountiful's bench, Nov. 11, 1978; and 113 mph, valley elevation at Brigham City, April 23, 1999.

The storm system that is producing the winds is likely to be accompanied by snow in northern Utah by Wednesday afternoon and evening. By Thursday, the snow will be more widespread and could linger into early Friday, particularly in southern Utah.

The canyons in southern Utah are anticipated to have those strong eastern gusts as well.

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Amy Joi O'Donoghue


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