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Fox News Weather Center

Strong winds to whip from Casper to Chicago, Detroit late week

Windy conditions will roll across the north-central United States along with a surge of milder air to end the third week of February.

Gusts up to 60 mph are possible along a swath from Montana and Wyoming to the easternmost Great Lakes.

"Winds will pick up across the Rockies early Thursday and funnel into the central Plains during Thursday night and the Great Lakes by Friday," AccuWeather Meteorologist Renee Duff said.

This storm will also bring the potential for showers to track from the northern Plains into the Northeast into the weekend.

Those with any outside decorations should be properly secured to prevent them from tearing apart or blowing away.

Those traveling on interstates 29, 35, 80 and 90 should keep a firm grip on the steering wheel as a strong wind gust could quickly cause your car to spin out of control.

"Drivers of high-profile vehicles will be the most susceptible to these winds and will need to take extra precautions while traveling through the Plains," Duff said. "Empty tractor trailers have the greatest risk of being flipped over by these winds."

There is the potential for the strongest gusts to also knock down trees and cause sporadic power outages.

Strong winds could lead to delays and also turbulence at the airport. This includes the airports in Casper and Cheyenne, Wyoming; Rapid City and Pierre, South Dakota; North Platte and Omaha, Nebraska; Des Moines, Iowa; Madison and Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Chicago; Indianapolis; Fort Wayne, Indiana; Detroit; Cleveland; and Buffalo, New York.

The winds will also produce large waves over the open waters of the Great Lakes.

Gusty winds will also be focused across portions of the southern Plains.

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"The combination of strong winds and a couple weeks of dry weather will create an enhanced fire threat across the southern Plains," Duff said.

These winds will be associated with a storm system expected to develop across the Rockies by Thursday and bring a surge of milder air into the Central states to end the week. This warmth could lead to record-breaking temperatures across the Plains.

Highs from the northern Plains to the Midwest will run between 20 and 30 degrees above average.

Temperatures will remain on the mild side through the weekend before cooler air builds in from Canada to start next week.