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Damaging, dangerous winds are forecast for Labor Day in east Idaho

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IDAHO FALLS — It’s going to be abnormally windy on Labor Day due to a strong cold front entering the area.

The National Weather Service has issued a high wind warning and a freeze watch in eastern Idaho due to very strong winds between 2 p.m. and 11 p.m. Monday. Additionally, the high winds and low humidity will create critical fire conditions. A red flag warning has been issued as a result.

“We need to emphasize this is not a typical windy day in Idaho,” NWS meteorologists said in a news release. “This is a very strong back-door cold front, bringing in a surge of cold Canadian northerly air. Winds from a strong northerly direction in September are exceedingly atypical.”

The high wind warning is in effect for the following communities: Idaho Falls, Ammon, Rexburg, Rigby, Ririe, St. Anthony, Ashton, Island Park, Challis, Mackay, Driggs, Victor, Pocatello, Chubbuck, Blackfoot, American Falls, Shelley, Firth, Fort Hall, Dubois and Spencer. North winds of 30 to 40 mph are expected with gusts exceeding 55 mph.

Additionally, a freeze watch has been issued for Idaho Falls, Rexburg, St. Anthony and Mud Lake. Temperatures might drop below 30 degrees Fahrenheit during the night. Snow showers are possible in some areas due to the rapid temperature change.

Winds at this speed can cause damage to homes and property, down trees and power lines and create dangerous travel conditions.

To protect from property damage from these strong winds, secure or bring inside objects that could blow around, such as lawn furniture. Fix loose shutters or other items on your home that could be blown off and trim trees or bushes that are near the structure.

Ensure your emergency supplies kit is up-to-date so that you are prepared in the event of a power outage. Visit weather.gov/wind for more wind safety information. If you are planning on driving, high-profile automobiles, RVs, and trucks need to exercise extreme caution or postpone their trip.

The red flag warning in in effect for all of eastern Idaho between 2 p.m. and 11 p.m. Humidity is expected to drop as low as eight percent. The humidity, combined with the high winds referenced above, will create critical fire conditions. Fires are more likely to start during red flag conditions, and already burning fires may spread quickly.

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