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Posted at 02:56 PM ET, 12/20/2012

Hazardous wind event possible Saturday; strong winds tonight and Friday too


Forecast sustained winds at different times in knots from the NAM model. You can add about 3 to convert these to mph. Gusts will likely be substantially higher. (WeatherBell.com)
The National Weather Service has issued a high wind watch for the entire Washington, D.C. and Baltimore metro regions for the daylight hours Saturday. Wind gusts to 60 mph, downed trees, and power outages are possible.

A powerful cold front - associated with the storm bringing a blizzard to the Upper Midwest and tornadoes in the South - will plow through the region tonight, with an initial burst of wind this evening. It will remain windy Friday, with winds climaxing Saturday.

Wind speeds to expect

Tonight, mainly after 8 p.m.: Sustained 15-25 mph, gusts 20-40 mph (possibly higher in rain storms)

Friday: Sustained: 15-30 mph, gusts 25-45 mph.

Friday night: Sustained: 15-30 mph, gusts 25-40 mph.

Saturday: Sustained: 20-40 mph, gusts 35-60 mph.

Some important notes:

* The strongest winds - at the high end of ranges - are most likely to occur in the mountains and near the Chesapeake Bay

* When the front comes through tonight, brief wind gusts to 50 mph or so cannot be ruled out, especially southeast of the D.C. near the Bay as accompanying heavy rainfall and possible thunder mixes down high winds aloft. The timing for strong gusts tonight would be between 8 p.m. and 1 a.m. from west to east across the area.

* As temperatures fall through the 30s Friday night, wind chills will drop into the teens (colder suburbs) and 20s.

Now would be a good time to secure loose outdoor items or bring them inside.

By  |  02:56 PM ET, 12/20/2012

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