Power outages possible: The Lehigh Valley is under a wind advisory Tuesday, with gusts of 40 to 50 mph expected
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – As Monday’s nor’easter continues to pull away from the region, the big story on Tuesday will be strengthening northwest winds blowing through the Lehigh Valley.
The winds will ramp up due to the pressure gradient on the western side of the storm system, the National Weather Service said in its morning forecast discussion. And strengthening cold air advection should help mix stronger winds down to the surface.
- The Lehigh Valley is under a wind advisory Tuesday
- Gusts of 40 to 50 mph are expected by Tuesday afternoon, with the potential for higher gusts
- Wind advisories are issued when sustained winds of 31 to 39 mph are expected for better than one hour, and/or wind gusts of 46 to 57 mph for any duration
A wind advisory is in effect until midnight for areas mainly near and south of the Interstate 78 corridor, where the weather service expects gusts of 40 to 50 mph by Tuesday afternoon, with potential for a few localized higher gusts.
Wind advisories are issued when sustained winds of 31 to 39 mph are expected for better than one hour, and/or wind gusts of 46 to 57 mph are anticipated for any duration.
All of this will raise the potential for downed tree limbs and power outages across the area.
The winds will also help to wrap in colder air behind the storm, the weather service said, and it will remain fairly windy through Wednesday, with winds generally gusting to 25 to 35 mph.
Wind threat levels
The weather service classifies winds and threat levels from “non-threatening” to “extreme" ( as seen in the chart below). Tuesday’s expected wind gusts will fall somewhere in the “moderate” level, which are consistent with a wind advisory.
What kind of damage can occur?
In high wind conditions, loose objects can be blown about and can become dangerous projectiles. Large branches may break off weak or diseased trees, and trees can be blown down.
High winds are also dangerous for high profile vehicles, and drivers are urged to keep a safe distance from cars in adjacent lanes, as strong gusts could push a vehicle outside of its lane of travel.
Trucks, vans, SUVs or trailers are more prone to be pushed or even flipped by high wind gusts, according to the weather service.
How to prepare for high winds
Before high winds, secure garbage cans, patio furniture and any objects outdoors on your property that could blow away.
Remove any dead trees or overhanging branches near structures and vehicles.
In the event of a downed power line, avoid touching anything that may be touching the downed line. Puddles and wet or snow-covered ground can conduct electricity in some cases.
Call for help and report downed lines to the local utility, 911 or police.
If a power line falls on your car, stay inside the vehicle and do not exit your car until help arrives.
To report a power outage to PPL Electric Utilities, text OUTAGE to TXTPPL or visit http://pplelectric.com/outages
To report a power outage to First Energy (Met-Ed) visit https://www.firstenergycorp.com/outages_help/Report_Power_Outages.html