'Wildly windy' Wednesday could see gusts up to 50 mph

Posted February 9, 2010 4:02 a.m. EST
Updated February 10, 2010 5:32 a.m. EST

— The National Weather Service has issued a high wind warning for more than 30 counties across North Carolina, including Wake, Durham and Orange, from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday.

"This will be a truly ferocious wind," WRAL chief meteorologist Greg Fishel said.

Sustained wind speeds will peak during the late morning and afternoon hours on Wednesday, ranging from 25 to 30 mph with damaging gusts of 40 to 50 mph possible.

"We could see gusts between 45 and 55 mph," WRAL meteorologist Mike Maze said. The winds are expected to peak from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The strong winds could create danger in the form of falling trees.

 "With all the saturated ground, it is quite possible the wind could loosen some root systems and cause some trees and branches to come down," WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner said.

Several counties are also under flood warnings, including Cumberland, Edgecombe, Nash, Robeson and Wayne counties. The Neuse, Cape Fear and Tar rivers are among those that are experiencing high water levels.

Fishel said there is also a possibility that the Triangle could see a few isolated snow flurries.

Tuesday was mostly cloudy and chilly with light rain throughout the day. Highs reached into the upper 30s.

"It is going to turn sharply colder overnight and the winds will increase," Fishel said.

Temperatures could rise to the mid 30s by midday Wednesday.