(KXAN) — A storm system slamming the West Coast Tuesday will move across the Rockies overnight and into the Great Plains by Wednesday.
As it does so, the low pressure will strengthen in the lee of the Rocky Mountains and move towards states like Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa. A strong ridge of high pressure of the Southeast will cause a tight pressure gradient between the two systems.
Wind is produced by differences in pressure. And in this case, when the two systems causing the differences in pressure are strong, the difference between them is large, and thus the wind is strong.
The NWS has issued High Wind Warnings from Kansas, through Nebraska and Iowa and as far away South Dakota ahead of this wind storm. Sustained winds are forecast to be anywhere from 25 to 35 mph, but gusts could be as high as 65 mph in the warned areas.
The Des Moines NWS Office warns that this might be one of the stronger wind events in over 20 years.
This has the potential to be the strongest non-convective wind event in Iowa in quite some time. Many recall November 10, 1998 which was a long duration high wind event over Iowa but did not have the max winds this storm may have.
As the storm system moves across the plains, a cold front will move through the region. Along and ahead of it, strong to severe storms are possible. Some of which could be tornadic.
Behind the front, cold air moves in from Canada posing a threat for snow for areas like Minneapolis and Sioux Falls, SD. Accumulations are expected to be light, but with gusty winds still in the forecast, reduced visibility may be an issue with blowing snow.