ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The words March and wind storm go hand-in-hand for the Rochester region.
This year is no different as strong winds gusting potentially over 60 mph will be possible across Western New York during the day Friday.
This setup is very typical of what makes for damaging winds in Rochester. That is a deep low pressure system passing by just to the west and north through Ohio and into southern Ontario, Canada. Lets cover the timing and impacts.
The storm will be moving through the Ohio River Valley overnight and rain showers will break into Western New York. Some of this rain could be locally heavy at times with winds out of the south gusting 20-30 mph. There may even be a few rumbles of thunder because of instability in the atmosphere.
The low breaks into Michigan and Southern Ontario, bringing some of the strongest winds to Western New York. A strong batch of winds 1,500 meters overhead may start to move down toward the surface and lead to gusts nearing 50 mph with winds sustained near 40 mph. Winds come out of the southwest.
The focus at this point will be areas across Rochester, Monroe County, and west to Buffalo. While higher elevations across the Bristol Hills will see strong wind gusts, funneling wind off Lake Erie through Buffalo, Genesee County, and up toward Rochester will be the corridor where some of the strongest winds will be felt. This is the focus of the High Wind Warnings issued by the National Weather Service.
A rapid shift in wind direction out of the west happens sometime in the early afternoon. This can help some of those stronger winds get down to the surface and there will be a small window of gusts to crest 60 mph. This is typically the threshold where more impactful damage may happen. Winds will begin to die down by evening as the storm quickly pulls out of the region.
- Power outages will be possible. If you have a generator, make sure it is functioning. Otherwise, make sure to have some portable phone chargers, a few gallons of extra water, some non-perishable foods, flashlights, and extra blankets. According to the Red Cross, food can remain cold in a freeze for about four hours.
- If your trash day is Friday, certainly make sure to watch those bins as they can get legs on windy days like this.
- Make sure to secure all outdoor furniture, grills, fireplaces, etc that may have been put out during the early stretch of nice weather
- Driving can become difficult during high wind situations. Make sure to keep two hands on the wheel and watch for small branches on roadways.
- Have a few stock photos of your home on hand. If there is any damage from a fallen tree or powerline, you will want to have “before and after” pictures for insurance purposes.
- Know where the most vulnerable trees are in your yard. Understand that the weaker and older trees (especially ash trees) will be the ones to come down first.
- Have your power company on standby. RG&E has an app in which you can record and track outages. You can find that here.