Strong, damaging winds expected from the Gulf Coast into New England through Friday morning
Winds could gust as high as 65 mph in New England Thursday night
Wind alerts are in effect across an area that stretches from the Gulf Coast into the mid-Atlantic and Northeast through Friday morning as concerns grow that strong, damaging winds could bring down trees and cause widespread power outages.
Wind Advisories are in effect from West Virginia into Pennsylvania, the New York City tri-state area, Massachusetts and coastal New England starting Thursday.
In the mid-Atlantic, winds are expected to be around 20 to 30 mph on Thursday, and gusts of up to 55 mph are possible, according to the National Weather Service.
High Wind Warnings have also been issued for eastern Connecticut, all of Rhode Island and eastern and southeastern Massachusetts.
Starting Thursday night, sustained winds will be between 15 and 30 mph, but gusts of 60 to 65 mph are expected in eastern Connecticut, Rhode Island and eastern and southeastern Massachusetts.
"Damaging winds will blow down trees and power lines," the NWS said in its warning. "Widespread power outages are expected."
According to the NWS, travel is also expected to be impacted, especially for high-profile vehicles.
Strong winds are also expected from the Gulf Coast into the Mississippi, Tennessee and Ohio valleys.
According to the NWS in New Orleans, winds will be between 20 and 30 mph on Thursday, with gusts as high as 50 mph in some locations across southwestern Mississippi and Louisiana, including Baton Rouge.
Residents in areas where wind alerts are in effect are being advised to secure loose items outdoors.
Travelers, especially those on Interstates 10 and 12 and elevated roadways, are asked to exercise caution due to strong crosswinds, according to the NWS.
Strong winds and severe weather will also be an issue in the Mississippi and Tennessee valleys.
Winds will be between 20 and 30 mph, and gusts of up to 45 mph are possible.
Severe thunderstorms, including some possible tornados, are expected to impact the region starting Thursday afternoon.