High wind watch in effect Thursday night through late Friday

  • High wind watch in effect Thursday night through late Friday

High wind watch in effect Thursday night through late Friday

The National Weather Service in Raleigh issued a High Wind Warning Friday morning for much of north central North Carolina, including Orange County. Gusty winds of over 30 miles per hour are expected, with gusts of 60 to 70 miles per hour starting early Friday morning and lasting until midnight.

The Maryland Emergency Management Agency is monitoring a storm system predicted to generate rain, high winds and cause power outages. The high wind warning will stay in effect until 6 a.m. on Saturday, the agency said.

UPDATE 10:45 PM, 3/1/2018: High winds have gotten off to a fast start on this Thursday evening, with already 24,000+ customers without power in Appalachian Power's service area through West Virginia and Virginia, including more than 6,000 in Roanoke and Botetourt counties alone. The most unsafe conditions are forecast to begin by 6 a.m. Friday morning, with gusty winds continuing throughout the weekend.

If you do not already have one, consider using a vehicle charger to keep devices charged if you lose power for a long time.

Avoid traveling. Let family and friends know of your destination, route, and expected arrival time if you need to travel.

TIMING.Midnight tonight through Friday night. The wind storm is upon us - please be careful if outside driving or even walking, and be prepared for additional power outages through the overnight and Friday. This will bring a prolonged strong wind event to the region. The duration and recurrence of strong wind gusts is more the issue this time.

Next week will feature highs in the low/mid 50s and lows in the upper 20s/lower 30s the first half of next week, followed by some slightly cooler weather at the end of the week.

An area of low pressure is passing to our north.

The Maryland State Highway Administration says crews are preparing for the possibility of toppled trees and power outages.