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Multi-Day Heavy Rain in the Mid-South; Strong Winds and Lingering Snow in the West

Several bands of heavy rain may cause flash flooding in the Mid-South. A potent storm will bring strong winds and critical fire weather threats into the Southwest, and damaging Santa Ana winds to southern California. Heavy mountain snow will linger across the North and Central Rockies and Inter-Mountain West. A Wintery mix is also possible in the Appalachians and portions of the Northeast. Read More >

Overview

The onset of a high impact wind event began on Tuesday January 12th, 2021, when a typical brand of strong winds descended over the normally wind prone Rocky Mountain Front and adjoining areas. Widespread anomalously strong winds then swept through much of Montana on the following day as a vigorous Pacific weather system and its attendant cold front moved east through the Northern Rockies into the plains. Great Falls (76 mph), Helena (80 mph), and Havre (78 mph) all set wind speed records for the month of January. The winds were not only abnormally strong but they persisted longer than what is usually experienced, with some locations seeing frequent severe wind gusts (58 mph or greater) for six hours or more. The impacts were felt throughout North-central and Southwest Montana and included, road closures due to areas of dense blowing dust, semi-trailer roll overs, power outages, and property damage. 

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