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Wind, cold will wallop area on Wednesday

Wednesday - 3/12/2014, 12:09pm  ET

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High winds could knock down tree limbs Wednesday. (WTOP file)

WASHINGTON - After several days of beautiful weather, the Washington area is about to get walloped by high winds and a return to winter temperatures, and that means it's time to tie down loose furniture and trash cans.

The forecast calls for gusts that could top 60 mph in some spots Wednesday afternoon and evening as temperatures drop from near 70 into the upper 20s.

In addition to the potentially severe gusts, sustained winds are expected to be around 20 to 30 mph for much of the evening.

"That's enough to do some damage, bring down some tree limbs, upset some garbage cans. [You] may want to tie down loose lawn furniture," WTOP Traffic and Weather reporter Dave Dildine says.

With the warnings about straight line winds, local power companies say they are watching the storms. But, as of late Tuesday, haven't implemented any special plans.

"The first spring wind event tends to do a lot of tree damage because of all the trees and limbs that were weakened during the winter from ice and snow," Dildine says.

The National Weather Service says there is even the potential for a tornado with this storm.

"It's a classic spring setup and its a classic spring front. You've got a tight temperature gradient, and a really sharp contrast between the warm air to the south and east and the cold air to the north and west, and it's that temperature contrast that triggers this severe weather, or at least the potential for it," Dildine explains.

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