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High-wind warning issued for York
The National Weather Service has issued a high wind warning for York and surrounding counties, predicting winds with gusts of up to 60 mph Saturday night into Sunday morning. The weather is potentially hazardous for large trucks, experts say.
Winds: The high wind warning is set for midnight until noon Sunday. John LaCorte, meteorologist for the National Weather Service in State College, said the winds are a result of an unseasonably strong cold front coming through the area.
"It's going to get gusty tonight through Sunday," he said on Saturday afternoon. "You're going to hear it probably tonight."
LaCorte said the unseasonably strong cold front will bring in some cold weather, with lows for Saturday and Sunday in the 30s.
Randy Adkins, meteorologist for AccuWeather, said the winds on Sunday will make it feel much colder.
"When combining with the wind, it's going to feel like it's in the teens," he said. "It's going to feel a good 10 to 15 degrees colder."
Power outages: Scott Takac, spokesman with Met-Ed, the county's largest electricity supplier, said they have known about the potential for high winds since Friday and are prepared for outages.
“Whenever you have high winds, there’s gonna be some outages,” he said.
"We're way out in front of it," Takac added. "We've got crews ready."
Takac said crews will address outages with the most customers affected first, and then work their way down to the smaller outages.
He also urged people to call them immediately if they see a downed power line.
"The biggest thing is to stay away from downed lines," he said, adding that people should call 1-888-544-4877 to report outages or downed power lines.
He suggested people use the Met-Ed outage map to locate where the outages are and when they are expected to be resolved.
"We're used to this, especially this time of year, and we're ready," he said.
Precautions: LaCorte said in an event such as this, trees with fewer leaves are less likely to be knocked down from the wind. That's good news for this area, where spring isn't in full bloom just yet.
LaCorte urged people with lawn furniture outside to bring it in.
"That kind of stuff tends to blow around," he said.
In addition to the lawn furniture, he said, larger vehicles, such as tractor-trailers and box trucks, might be at risk due to the winds.
"I guess the bigger your target, the more wind can push on it," he said.
Adkins echoed LaCorte's statement. He said the high-profile vehicles have a higher center of gravity, making them prone to being blown over by stronger winds. Larger pedestrian vehicles should not be too much of a concern though, according to Adkins.
"As far as like a van or SUV, rollover because of high winds is probably not going to happen." he said, adding that there is potential for those vehicles to drift as a result of the wind.
Adkins warned people to take caution when traveling on overpasses or higher exposed areas because winds could be locally stronger there.
York County spokesman Carl Lindquist said the Office of Emergency Management will be monitoring the winds as they happen and will assist municipalities in getting the necessary resources should something happen. He said they have also been giving out information to the public on the upcoming wind warning.
"We do that around every incident or potential incident that raises concern," he said.
What's next?: The warmer weather the county has seen recently is looking to go away for a few days as the cold front brings some cooler weather, according to LaCorte.
“Some of the days are going to be looking at highs 15 to 20 degrees below normal,” he said.
LaCorte said the warmer weather is looking to return by mid-week, but until then, people should be cautious. He said anyone who may have plants out should bring them inside because the weather will be too cold for them.
“The next several days are really the core of the cold coming through,” he said.
— Reach Christopher Dornblaser at firstname.lastname@example.org