SIDNEY - Peak wind gusts in the Nebraska Panhandle Wednesday are forecast to be near 75 mph, according to the National Weather Service Office in Cheyenne. 

Forecasters say wind speeds on Tuesday will range from 35 to 45 mph, with gusts over 60. Sustained wind speeds on Wednesday are expected to be from 40 to 50 mph. The windy conditions will continue through Thursday, where gusts could be over 50 mph.

The Nebraska Panhandle, southeast Wyoming and northeast Colorado were placed in a high wind warning. The warning is in effect from 9 a.m. Tuesday to 6 p.m. Wednesday. 

In Wyoming, wind gusts of 70-90 mph will be possible in wind prone areas, such as gap wind areas and ridge tops. 

Impacts will be mainly to transportation, according to the NWS. Strong cross winds may be hazardous to light weight and high profile vehicles, including campers and tractor trailers, with an extreme risk for blow overs. The weather service says to fasten loose objects, or shelter objects in a safe location, prior to the onset of winds.

A high wind warning means a hazardous high wind event is expected or occurring. Sustained wind speeds of at least 40 mph, or gusts of 58 mph or more, can lead to property damage.

Meanwhile, critical fire weather conditions are forecast in Deuel, Garden, Sheridan, Keith, Arthur, Perkins and Chase Counties. A red flag warning for wind and low relative humidity is in place from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. MDT Tuesday for western and central Nebraska, into northeast Nebraska, South Dakota and Kansas.

The weather service says any fires that start may be capable of spreading rapidly. A combination of strong winds, low relative humidity, and warm temperatures can contribute to extreme fire behavior.

The high wind warning stretches from the Nebraska Panhandle, northeast Colorado and southeast Wyoming into northwest Montana and northern Idaho.

Scattered rain and snow showers are forecast Monday night, though accumulation is expected to be confined to the mountains, according to the NWS. 

A cold front will push through early Tuesday and usher in much colder temperatures for Tuesday and Wednesday. Highs will be in the upper 40s across the Sidney area, bringing an abrupt end to the streak of warm weather.

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ROAD CONDITIONS