Forecast: Extreme wind, rain for NE Ohio through mid-week

CLEVELAND - UPDATE: Band of heavy rain has settled in over Northern Ohio now. Winds gusting above 60 mph in many spots. Burke Airport reported a wind gust of 66mph at 9pm. more than 115,000 Northern Ohioans without power as of 10pm.

*HIGH WIND WARNING in effect now through Tuesday for all of Northern Ohio including Greater Cleveland, Akron, Canton, Mentor, Ravenna, Wooster, Millersburg, Ashtabula, Mansfield, Ashland, Youngstown and surrounding areas. High winds are expected Monday afternoon thru Tuesday for parts of the area, especially along the Lakeshore. Sustained north winds will blow between 30 & 40mph with gusts to 60 mph. Tree and power line damage is possible, along with siding and roof damage. This is a significant weather event for Northern Ohio, especially over higher elevations and near Lake Erie. The highest winds are expected Monday night and Tuesday morning. While wind speeds will diminish some Tuesday night and Wednesday. Disruptive wind gusts are likely thru mid-week.

*LAKESHORE FLOOD WARNING in effect now thru Tuesday from Toledo east to Buffalo, NY. Strong winds from Hurricane Sandy will blow south across lake Erie thru mid-week. This will cause water levels to rise along the south shore of the lake. Wind gusts to 70 mph Monday night thru Tuesday will result in wave heights between 15 & 22 feet! Extensive erosion of beaches is possible Monday thru Wednesday. Damage to structures such as boats, boat houses, piers and docks is also likely. Localized flooding of bays and inlets along Lake Erie is also likely.

*FLOOD WATCH in effect for all Northern Ohio Counties from Lorain, Medina, Wayne & Holmes Counties and ALL Points East to the Pennsylvania border now through Tuesday evening. Rainfall amounts of 2 to 4 inches can be expected from Sunday afternoon through Tuesday across much of Northern Ohio with isolated amounts of 6 inches across the higher terrains of Geauga, Medina & Ashtabula Counties. Significant travel delays due to heavy rain and flooding can be expected Monday, Tuesday, &, perhaps, Wednesday across Northern Ohio.

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Temps are in the low 40s, with winds gusting into the low 30s. I expect conditions to continue to worsen as we move into the evening hours. Winds will really start to gust tonight. We could see gusts overnight nearing 70mph.

Sandy is moving NW at 28 mph, meaning it will make landfall along the Jersey shore around 6p. But, this isn't that crucial since tropical storm force winds extend nearly 500 miles from its center, and hurricane force winds nearly 150-200 miles away. For us, the hours for our strongest winds will likely be from 10p tonight to 10p Tuesday.

A High Wind Warning is in effect for Northeast Ohio until 4 p.m. Tuesday. Northerly winds will be sustained 30-40 mph with gusts as high as 70 mph. The highest winds will occur overnight and Tuesday morning and along the lake.

Flood Warnings have been issued for the Black River, Chagrin River, Grand River and Cuyahoga River until further notice.

The outer bands of Sandy are quickly moving into NE Ohio and and western PA. Within a band, we can expect heavy rains and gusty winds to 50mph.

With a saturated ground, downed trees and power lines are possible. Damage to roofs and siding may occur. Loose objects will be blown away. Please avoid parking under trees. Take in lawn furniture, trash cans, etc. and don't forget about Halloween decorations!

A Flood Watch is in effect for Northeast Ohio until Tuesday evening. Low lying areas and small streams may flood. Large rivers are not in danger. Expect 2-4 inches of rain from this system with isolated 6 inch totals east of Cleveland in the higher terrain. There may be breaks in the rain, but expect soggy conditions through Wednesday.

A Lakeshore Flood Warning is in effect for Erie, Lorain, Cuyahoga, Lake and Ashtabula Counties from noon Monday through 8 p.m. Tuesday. Persistent northerly winds will cause water to rise 3+ inches on the south shore of Lake Erie. Combined with 15+ ft. waves, this will cause flooding and erosion on the shoreline. I-90 may be impacted in Cleveland.

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