WASHINGTON — Hang tough and hold on to your hats, D.C.: The area will finally get some relief from the repeated blasts of chilly wind.
The winds lightened up this evening, and higher temperatures and lighter winds are on tap for Tuesday.
It’ll be a decided improvement over what was a rowdy start to the week. Area commuters embarked for work Monday morning under a high-wind warning. Damaging gusts of up to 60 mph knocked out power for thousands, and downed trees and wires blocked roadways.
Most of the WTOP listening area was seeing consistent gusts of 30 to 40 mph, with the strongest winds generally to the north and west of D.C. A weather station in Silver Spring, Maryland, measured a 60-mph wind gust just before 4 a.m.
The blustery conditions lightened up somewhat, and that warning was downgraded to an advisory.
Inevitably, all that high wind messed with traffic. Early Monday afternoon, for instance, downed trees blocked traffic on Beach Drive in D.C. — between Rock Creek Parkway and Porter Street Northwest — and on Virginia Route 193/Georgetown Pike near Swinks Mill Road.
The wind also had caused major issues on the Capital Beltway’s Inner Loop near Maryland Route 193 in Silver Spring (downed tree) and on the Suitland Parkway near Stanton Road Southeast in D.C. (downed tree).
Keep up with the latest traffic and road conditions on WTOP’s traffic page.
This transformer fell onto two parked cars on Garland Ave in Takoma Park. The owner of the blue car tells me he had just gotten home and parked his car about 5 minutes before it happened @nbcwashington pic.twitter.com/pvg579tGXD
— Aimee Cho (@AimeeCho4) February 25, 2019
The Maryland State Highway Administration urged travelers to use caution: “Please drive safely today,” the agency tweeted. “Be sure to travel with both hands on the wheel to maintain steering during high wind gusts.”
Commuters Monday were also urged to use special caution on highways in higher elevations.
Some wind restrictions went into effect Sunday evening on Maryland highways. House trailers, empty box trailers, or any vehicle that cannot safely cross Chesapeake Bay Bridge on U.S. Route 50 in Annapolis will not be permitted to cross.
Reported wind gusts:
- Catholic University: 58 mph
- Capitol Hill: 48 mph
- Silver Spring: 60
- BWI Marshall Airport: 54
- Frederick: 49
- Gaithersburg: 58
- Hyattsville: 51
- Joint Base Andrews: 56
- Upper Marlboro: 59
- Cherrydale: 55
- Dulles Airport: 58
- Springfield: 48
Arlington Public Schools reported outages Monday afternoon that affected Campbell Elementary School and Kenmore Middle School. In Alexandria, Patrick Henry Elementary School and William Ramsay Elementary School were closed Monday due to power outages. And in Baltimore County, an outage caused one elementary school to close early.
Earlier Monday, Dominion spokesman Chuck Penn said gusty winds were complicating repair efforts, with some crews delaying work until wind speeds subside. In some parts of Virginia, new outages were occurring at the same rate as existing ones were being repaired.
“We’re going to do everything we can, and work as long as we have to, until we get everybody’s lives back to normal,” he said.
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Monday night: Clear, winds calming after sunset. Cold, with lows in the mid- to upper 20s.
Tuesday: Clouds later with light winds. Highs in the mid-40s to 50.
Wednesday: Partly sunny and seasonable. Highs in the mid-40s to 50.
Thursday: Cloudy with rain possible by evening. Highs in the mid-40s to 50.