A strong cold front is moving Monday across the eastern half of the United States, bringing behind it dangerously strong winds for millions.
The cold front is bringing soaking rain Monday from the Deep South to New England, with the potential for flooding rains. The rain will end in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast by evening, but strong winds will follow.
Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York and Boston could all see winds up to 30 to 40 mph on Monday evening, with gusts possibly reaching 50 mph. That’s strong enough to cause power outages.
The windy conditions will begin to strengthen across interior sections of the Northeast early Monday afternoon. By 4 p.m. ET, strong winds will kick in for the big cities in the Northeast. Then, the winds should slowly subside during the overnight hours.
“Due to snow melt and recent rainfall, some tree root systems may be somewhat compromised, potentially leading to some uprooted trees,” says the National Weather Service office for New York City, which had 26 inches of snow in February, leaving the ground very moist.
“A combination of abundant snowfall and increased rainfall along the East Coast has led to increased soil moisture, this will make falling trees a bigger threat,” says CNN meteorologist Brandon Miller.
The front will also bring freezing temperatures to the region Monday night. The combination of cold temperatures and windy conditions will drive wind chill values as low as 20 to 30 degrees below zero for much of New England. This could cause frostbite in as few as 30 minutes.
Flooding is possible across the Southeast
This same system brought heavy rain to the Ohio and Tennessee valleys over the weekend. “Widespread totals of 2 to 6 inches fell from Texas to West Virginia,” says CNN meteorologist Dave Hennen.
More than 5 million people are still under flood warnings in these areas as rivers continue to rise above flood stage.
“Across the Southeast, Mid-Atlantic and lower Mississippi River Valley, there are over 150 river gauges above flood stage. That number is expected to top 200 in the next few days,” says CNN meteorologist Allison Chinchar.
As this system slowly meanders south, places like Jackson, Mississippi, could pick up 4 inches of rain through Wednesday. More widespread totals will range from 2 to 4 inches.
And the wind threat remains in the South as well, as these showers push through, with a wind gust of 44 mph already recorded at the main airport in Birmingham, Alabama.
The South should begin to dry out by the second half of the week.