National Weather Service issues 'small dog warning' due to wind

Dog gone? Hope you held on to those purse-size pooches in Cleveland this week.

Gael Cooper
CNET editor Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s," as well as "The Totally Sweet '90s." She's been a journalist since 1989, working at Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, Twin Cities Sidewalk, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and NBC News Digital. She's Gen X in birthdate, word and deed. If Marathon candy bars ever come back, she'll be first in line.
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Gael Cooper
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Strong winds can blow down tree branches, move garbage cans across the street, and in true Wizard of Oz style, even blow away your little dog, too. On Tuesday, the National Weather Service in Cleveland, Ohio, added a special warning to its weather advisory.

"Hold on to your pooch!" the Cleveland NWS said in a tweet announcing that it'd put an unofficial "small dog warning" wind advisory into effect for northern Ohio and Northwest Pennsylvania through Wednesday evening due to wind gusts up to 50 mph. 

Responding to a request for comment, the National Weather Service in Cleveland said that the dog warning was barking up the right tree.

"We did have some pretty strong wind gusts across Northern Ohio into Northwest Pennsylvania," a representative told me in an email, noting that winds reached as high as 57 mph. 

But no hounds were harmed, apparently. 

"We did not hear of any significant damage from the winds," the representative noted.

Twitter users were paw-sitively entertained, tweeting GIFs of startled dogs and referencing Toto from The Wizard of Oz. 

The dog warning isn't that far-fetched. In 2009, a 6-pound Chihuahua, Tinker Bell, was picked up by a 70 mph gust of wind in Michigan and tossed out of sight, the Associated Press reported. Owners credit a pet psychic for helping them find their pup.

The weather in Cleveland looks less fur-ocious for Valentine's Day, with above-normal temperatures and winds calming down to around 18 mph.

First published Feb. 14, 1:35 p.m. PT.
Update, Feb. 15, 10:15 a.m. PT: Added quote from NWS.

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