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The National Weather Service says strong winds will pick up ahead of heavier rains expected later in the day. Then, once the front moves through, another round of strong winds is expected through Saturday morning. Forecasters say gusts could approach or exceed 50 miles per hour in places. A Wind Advisory is in effect for the region through Saturday morning.

From the National Weather Service: Gusty southerly winds will pick up ahead of an approaching cold front this morning. Winds gusts to 45 or 50 mph or higher could occur before heavier rainfall arrives. Any loose or unsecured objects may blow around, and the strong winds may lead to some difficulty in driving, especially for high profile vehicles. Another round of strong northwest winds will arrive behind a cold front this afternoon.

WIND ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM NOON TODAY TO NOON EDT SATURDAY

* Winds…Northwest 15 to 25 mph with gusts up to 50 or 55 mph.

* Timing…Early this afternoon through late morning Saturday. Strongest surge of winds with the cold front this afternoon and then again late tonight with the colder air.

* Impacts…Some downed trees, tree limbs, and power lines, also potentially difficult driving conditions for those in high profile vehicles.

* Locations…Areas along and west of the crest of the Blue Ridge in Virginia, and all of southeast West Virginia.

* Hazards…Very strong winds and wind gusts.